Ismaël Koné transferred to Watford FC


MONTREAL – CF Montréal announced Monday that Quebec midfielder and Canadian international Ismaël Koné has been transferred to English second division club Watford FC. The transfer will be effective January 1, 2023.

“We are very happy for Ismaël. Both his evolution as a player and the outcome of this transfer have been very fast,” said CF Montréal Vice-President and Chief Sporting Officer Olivier Renard. “The Club has helped him grow as a player, but also as an individual, and I am proud of his progression. When the talent is there, it is not a question of age or experience. He made his choice from among several options available to him. Ismaël is certainly a great example for young Montrealers and Quebecers.”

“I want to thank the Club for everything it has done for me,” said Koné. “I grew as a player, but also off the field. I had a lot to learn, but the people here helped me develop. I'm grateful because I had the opportunity to begin my career at home.”

Koné, 20, was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and grew up in Montreal. After playing with CS St-Laurent and then joining CF Montréal’s Academy for a few months, he signed his first professional contract with the first team on August 13, 2021.

In his first professional season in 2022, he played 26 games, 18 as a starter, logging 1,587 minutes of play, collecting two goals and five assists in the MLS regular season. He also started both of Montreal’s 2022 MLS Cup playoff games and notably scored the game-winning goal against Orlando City SC. In the Concacaf Champions League, Koné also scored against Santos Laguna on February 23, his first professional goal, and started in three of the team's four games in the tournament.

Koné received his first international call-up with the Canadian men’s national team during the last World Cup qualifying phase in March. Most recently, with Canada at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, he played all three group stage games as a substitute, playing a total of 106 minutes.

Watford currently sits fourth in the Championship, England's second division, with a record of nine wins, six losses and six draws for 33 points.

Transaction: CF Montréal transfers Ismaël Koné to Watford FC. The transfer will be effective January 1, 2023.