The Portland Timbers have found their mystery winger, according to a report from the Oregonian's Jamie B. Goldberg, and will be bringing in Leicester City Midfielder Jack Barmby. Barmby, 21, is a left footed attacking midfielder, able to play on either flank or in the middle of the pitch.
There has not yet been any word as to the length or terms of the loan, or if the Timbers have their usual option to buy in place for the young Englishman. That may not be necessary, however, as TransferMarkt.com lists Barmby's contract as expiring at the end of June, at which point he could potentially join the Timbers on a free transfer.
Although Leicester is at the top of the English Premier League standings, Barmby has only appeared with their U-21's, starting the 2015/16 season in a central attacking midfield role before being shifted out onto the left wing -- and occasionally deputizing at left back.
A promising player who played for the English youth national teams at the U-19 and U-20 level and came up through the Manchester United U-18s before being sold to Leicester and going on a series of loans, Barmby appears to be a quick player quite capable of making something happen with the ball at his feet, but also an able finisher and passer of the ball.
During his loans to various League Two sides, Barmby has racked up five goals and five assists in twenty two matches, as well as another three goals and six assists in thirty one U21 Premier League matches.
While he comes from impressive pedigree, don't expect Barmby to immediately displace Lucas Melano or Dairon Asprilla out on the wings for the Timbers. Beyond the usual adjustment period -- and the fact that we don't yet know when he will be joining the team -- the Timbers appear very happy with their current starters, and the newcomer will need to show well if he is going to displace them.
By becoming the Timbers' third Jack -- after Jack Jewsbury and Jack McInerney -- Barmby puts Gavin Wilkinson in a good position to win the game of lineup poker that he appears to be playing with the other GM's in MLS.
*Thanks to the multiple people who put this up in the FanPosts.