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Hernán Pérez signs with Espanyol

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Villarreal USA bids farewell (again) to one of our favorite grinders--the oft-injured Paraguayan was always close to breaking through, but never quite did.

Hernan tussling with Samir Nasri in the Champions League match at El Madrigal
Hernan tussling with Samir Nasri in the Champions League match at El Madrigal
Michael Regan/Getty Images


Villarreal vs Malaga 2-1 by fouadram

This was Hernan's shining moment, the goal that looked like it would keep us in the Primera at a time when we needed every point we could get.  Of course, it didn't work out that way.

And, that turned out to be true of Hernán Pérez's career with Villarreal.  In 2009 we signed him from Tacuary in Paraguay; the young winger was one of the stars of the Villarreal B team coached by Garrido.  He made his debut with the first team in that 2011-12 campaign, and contributed four goals--three of them near the end of the campaign, including the one above.

He suffered an injury (against Barcelona B, as I recall) in the middle of the 2012-13 campaign, and so only played around 900 minutes, with two goals.  He wasn't a significant part of Villarreal's 2013-14 squad, and so in January we loaned (or sold, I was never quite sure) the Paraguayan to Olympiakos in Greece.  He played well there, but suffered a severe knee injury, so the Greeks returned him to us crocked.

Perez spent the summer and fall rehabbing with us, we loaned him to Valladolid, but though they made it to the Segunda playoffs, that was as far as they got.  At age 26, Villarreal decided he was surplus to their plans, and though Betis were interested in him, Espanyol have signed him up for four seasons.

I, and the rest of the Villarreal USA staff as far as I know, always liked Hernán.  He worked hard along the wing, and though he never quite developed the finishing skills to be a player you could count on as a scorer, he was always capable of the odd moment of spectacular play.  We wish him well at Espanyol.  Just as long as he doesn't play well against us!!

I had thought his contract was up on June 30, so we would not be getting any transfer fee for him; since I haven't seen a mention of one, I'll assume that's correct.