Storied Inter Milan snags Canadian international Tajon Buchanan from Brampton

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Published January 5, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Tajon Buchanan brampton world cup milan
Canada's Tajon Buchanan, left, fights for the ball with Jamaica's Ethan Pinnock, right, during the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal match at the National stadium in Kingston, Jamaica, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Collin Reid

Brampton’s Tajon Buchanan has landed in Italy with storied Inter Milan in a transfer from Belgium’s Club Brugge.

The 24-year-old wingback/winger from Brampton now wears the colours of the Serie A leader.

Coached by Simone Inzaghi, Inter currently tops the Italian A standings at 14-1-3, two points ahead of Juventus. The Inter trophy cases includes 19 Italian league titles, nine Italian Cups, seven Italian Supercups, three Champions Cup, three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one Club World Cup.

Inter’s star-studded roster includes Argentina’s Lautaro Martinez, Chile’s Alexis Sanchez, Italy’s Matteo Darmian, Armenia’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan, France’s Marcus Thuram and Benjamin Pavard, Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado and Switzerland’s Yann Sommer.

“Buchanan is a winger and fullback who can play on both sides of the pitch,” Inter said on its website. “A versatile player with a great work ethic, he’s played many roles in his career. Now, after years of growth, Tajon is ready to become the first-ever Canadian to play in Serie A.”

Buchanan, who will wear No. 17 for Inter, represents the 52nd nationality to represent the club, according to Opta. He also wore the number at Club Brugge, the New England Revolution (after one season wearing No. 11) and Syracuse University.

Inter welcomed Buchanan with a pancake breakfast, complete with maple syrup.

Buchanan said he plans to “to take in as much as possible at first, learn from everyone, the coaching staff, the players obviously that are on the team.

“To be the first Canadian, that’s a big achievement,” he added. “It’s extremely exciting and I’m very proud.”

The list of Canadians who have spent time in the top Italian division is short.

Ricardo Ferreira (AC Milan), Sebastian Breza, (Palermo FC and Bologna FC), Axel Desjardins (CC Spezia), Damiano Pecile (Venezia FC) and Roberto Stillo (Genoa) did not feature for their Italian clubs. Sandro Grande saw brief action with Brescia in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

On the women’s side in the modern era, Canadians Charmaine Hooper (Lazio CF), Selenia Iacchelli (ASD Torres), Carmelina Moscato (UPC Tavagnacco), Alyssa Lagonia (Bardolino Verona), Maegan Rosa (Atalanta/Florentia San Gimignano), Julia Grosso (Juventus) and Evelyne Viens (AS Roma) have played club football in Italy.

Buchanan joins Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich, Germany), Jonathan David (Lille, France) and Cyle Larin (Mallorca, Spain) as Canadians who regularly see action in one of Europe’s top five men’s leagues.

Canadian international Theo Corbeanu is currently on loan with Switzerland’s Grasshoppers from England’s Wolves while English-born Luc De Fougerolles, who qualifies for Canada through his Canadian-born father, has seen first-team action with Fulham.

Buchanan has won 35 caps for Canada, including 27 starts, with four goals and six assists. Three of those starts came at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Buchanan was taken in the first round (ninth overall) by the New England Revolution in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

He was runner-up to FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi as the 2021 MLS Young Player of the Year after finishing with career highs in games played (27), starts (19), goals (8), and assists (5) in his third MLS season.

Buchanan, named best young player at the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, joined Belgian champion Club Brugge after the 2021 season. He made 50 regular-season appearances for New England with 10 goals and nine assists.

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