It's somehow appropriate that the "nearly man" nearly moved clubs on transfer day, but didn't. And so in the end Villarreal made Jonathan Pereira a free agent, rescinding his contract and leaving him free to negotiate with anyone, even though the transfer window has closed.
A native of Vigo, Pereira joined the Villarreal youth setup in 2002 and immediately began banging in the goals; playing for our B team (then in the Tercera), he scored over 50 times in 73 matches. He made his first-team debut in October 2006 as a substitute, scoring after only two minutes. But, he saw little playing time after that and was subsquently loaned away.
Jony's speed has always been incredible, but while he flourished at Segunda level and below (11 goals for Racing Ferrol on loan; 9 goals for Betis in 20 matches; 7 goals in 20 matches for Villarreal in 2012-13; 6 in 20 matches for Valladolid last season, including this one, one of the finest goals you will see) as a Primera player, he has never made a significant impact, with 14 goals in 113 matches all told, just not enough for a striker.
Apart from the January 2010-Dec 2012 period, when he was on the books of Betis, he's been Villarreal property since 2002. He will always be remembered as the player who scored the goal that got us out of the Segunda Division, that beautiful day in June 2013 when we defeated Almeria.
It was pretty obvious Pereira wasn't in Marcelino's plans for this season, but he was ever-present in all the training sessions, got minutes in the preseason friendlies, and was one of the stars of Villarreal's visit to the Cavern Club! On deadline day there were rumors he would head back to Galicia and play for Celta, he would go to Elche, Valladolid wanted him back....nothing got done on the day, but hopefully will soon. I'm personally hoping for the Elche move; they could use a player like him as they try to fight back from administrative relegation.
The official website posted a thank you from him to Villarreal and its supporters this morning. Best of luck, Jony, wherever your travels take you, and we will always remember you for this!!