The secret agent behind Dante Polvara to Aberdeen transfer that beat Hibs, MLS and European sides to signing

By Scott Burns

Brian Wiese has revealed he turned secret agent to help Aberdeen beat off Hibs and major European and US interest to land Dante Polvara.

The Dons have signed the American men’s college player of the year from Georgetown University on a two and a half year contract.

The 21-year-old midfielder is now awaiting his work permit so he can begin his professional career at Pittodrie.

Georgetown’s head coach Wiese admitted he had the majority of MLS clubs banging on his door.

Hibs were already on the case along with Italian and German sides but after Polvara confirmed he wanted to go overseas he called Bobby Clark to see if his old club, Aberdeen, would be interested.

Wiese said: “I fielded a lot of phone calls from the MLS trying to get him but Dante had always said he wanted to go overseas because he thought that would be better for his development.

“He has an Italian passport and there were also some clubs over there. There was also one other club in Scotland who were trying to figure him out.

“He’s an unknown quantity and it’s hard for clubs outside of America to know what they are getting.

“As soon as I knew he wanted to go overseas I wanted to make sure he would go somewhere he would get in and play and develop that way.

“I called Bobby Clark and asked him if Aberdeen would have an interest in him.”

It worked in Aberdeen’s favour that Wiese knew the Dons legend. He had previously played under Clark at Notre Dame and had also coached under him.

Wiese also knew about the Pittodrie club and that it would be a place where the 22-year-old could really go and make his mark in the pro game.

Wiese added: “I’m good friends with Bobby.

“I knew Dante wasn’t going to stay with us. He was going to go pro somewhere and if other clubs in Scotland and Europe are sniffing around then would Aberdeen have an interest?

“I know they are good people and they understand there are good kids coming out of America and they will evolve Dante and give him a chance.

“Bobby and I are close and I wanted to see if Aberdeen had an interest and maybe they could get a look at him first.

“To Aberdeen’s credit they saw it’s a very, very good place, which it is.

“Bobby knows all about the university because his son Jamie is over here and he also keeps tabs on us.

“He knows Dante is a good player and he put us in touch with the chairman Dave Cormack and Stephen Glass. I just made the introduction at the end of the day.”

Wiese was stunned that New York City didn’t take up their option on Polvara.

The Georgetown chief said: “I got a ton of calls from coaches and general managers from the MLS.

“Dante was the property of NYCFC and the way MLS works is that they need to buy his rights or find a way to get them. A lot of teams really wanted him but it was controlled by NYCFC.

“The one mystery was why NYCFC didn’t take him – even as a development player or as player stock.

“I didn’t make sense to me why they didn’t, although their philosophy is a little different.

“They made a decision on him at 16 and when he wasn’t level at that time they moved past it. But they don’t recognise that players get better between 16 and 21.

“To their credit they didn’t stand in his way.”

Weise believes Polvara is as good a prospect as he has seen and the midfielder can go all the way to the top. The coach expects him to really shine at Aberdeen once he finds his feet and also plans to come across to Scotland to see him play.

Wiese said: “It’s all about how he acclimatises to the level because it will be a jump up. It will be quicker and physical but he is the best talent I have worked with and seen in a long time. He has room to grow and get better.

“He’s a very confident player and has a real self-belief that he can be a pro and do things. He also has a humility and has time to grow.

“Yes, he is a talent. Will he handle the difficulties of the pro game and a season as it can be difficult? It is a very hard thing to do and to succeed in.

“Talent-wise and physically for sure but he also has to fit into the team. The manager has to like him and when he gets the opportunity he has to perform.

“When he has made the jumps so far he has had no problems but this will be the biggest jump of his career. It would surprise me if he doesn’t make it work.”


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