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Villarreal loanee update: Cristian Espinosa

Boca Juniors v Junior - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018 Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

Cristian Espinosa was practically the last player our ex-head of Football Cordón signed—technically, he had already left the club by the time Espinosa joined, but Cordon had identified him as a wanted player and handled most of the negotiations. He seemed to be a bright prospect, joining us from Huracán at 21 years of age, but it hasn’t worked out well.

Espinosa was loaned to Alavés, then to Valladolid, and finally returned to Argentina to play for Boca Juniors. He totalled only 1800 minutes in all competitions over two years. He left Boca in December, though he did score in two of his final three matches for them.

When it was announced he had joined the San José Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, it seemed like a last chance to show that promise which led Villarreal to pay €7m (!) for him in the fall of 2016.

And so far, he is doing very well. The Quakes are not a very good team, but Espinosa has been perhaps their best player, with two goals and two assists so far. Against the Seattle Sounders recently he set up a goal with a pinpoint cross and pretty much all of San Jose’s attacks came through him. The only blemish was a one-on-one where his shot was blocked by the keeper.

So far Cristian seems happy in San José; it’s hard to imagine the Quakes keeping him though, as they don’t have money to pay any sort of reasonable transfer fees (the largest I could find they paid in the last few years was €1.5m). I also don’t know whether his loan covers the entire MLS season (which ends in early October and is followed by playoffs) or just until the summer. Still, it’s good to see him demonstrating the skill and talent that got him noticed in the first place!