Premier League

Duncan McGuire departs Orlando City to join Blackburn Rovers on loan

Duncan McGuire departs Orlando City to join Blackburn Rovers on loan

EFL Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers have signed striker Duncan McGuire on loan from Orlando City for the remainder of the 2023/24 season.

McGuire makes the move to Europe after just one season in Major League Soccer, as he notched 15 goals and three assists in 37 appearances across all competitions for the Lions. The 22-year-old was selected overall in the MLS SuperDraft and made an instant impact in Oscar Pareja’s side.

The two clubs agreed a fee worth approximately $4m yesterday and McGuire was en route to England to complete the deal — but Blackburn pulled out of the deal due initially before agreeing to a loan deal earlier today, according to MLS insider Tom Bogert of The Athletic.

As Bogert explains, Blackburn will shell out a $700k loan fee for McGuire with a buy option in the summer that’s worth $9.5m.

McGuire’s 13 goals — which were tied for sixth-most in the league despite making just 17 starts — propelled Orlando up the Eastern Conference table to a second place finish and and a return to the Concacaf Champions Cup.

“It has always been very important for our club to find and provide the best opportunities for players to continue making strides in their career, and this situation with Duncan was no different,” Orlando City executive vice president of soccer operations and general manager Luiz Muzzi said in a release.

“Duncan is a player that, from the time we drafted him to now, grew quickly over the course of the year. We’re happy to have found an opportunity for him to play in England, an ask he made of the club to accomplish a personal goal of his. We’re looking forward to him making the most of his time with Blackburn and will be cheering him on from afar.”

It’s another striker that the Lions have developed and shipped to Europe, as McGuire follows in the footsteps of Daryl Dike to West Brom and Cyle Larin to Besiktas. Orlando drafted McGuire sixth overall in the 2023 SuperDraft out of Creighton University, where he scored 23 goals in 24 games played.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to test myself abroad. I know I would not have this opportunity without the support of my teammates, my coaches and the front office at Orlando City,” McGuire added.

“Just 12 months ago I was leaving college soccer hoping to make my way, and I believe I have made the most of the opportunities that were presented to me in this time.”

The Omaha, Nebraska native has managed one appearance on the international stage for the US men’s national team,…

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