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Defender finds new club instantly after Villarreal confirm his release three years early

The Yellow Submarine are on a mission to trim the excess

Deportivo Alaves v Villarreal CF - La Liga Santander
Pena has now left the club
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Villarreal have confirmed the release of full-back Ruben Pena.

The Yellow Submarine have made it clear they will trim the edges of the squad this summer amid overbooking - as they call it in Spain - in certain areas.

Full-back is certainly one of those areas, and the first to be sent on his way is Pena.

The 30-year-old joined the Yellows from Eibar back in 2019, signing a long-term deal, but his move has not panned out as planned.

He made 11 appearances across all competitions this season, struggling with injury but simply not making the starting XI for the most part, with Juan Foyth, Serge Aurier and Mario Gaspar all preferred for the most part.

It was thought Villarreal would try to offload Pena by the way of a sale this summer, but it has now been confirmed he has been released after striking a mutual agreement over his contract.

Real Madrid v Villarreal - La Liga Santander
Pena will leave with a Europa League winners’ medal
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The full-back was willing to leave without a pay-off, knowing Osasuna had agreed to sign him, as long as he came without a transfer fee.

And low and behold, straight after his release, the Pamplona side have snapped him up, agreeing a contract up until 2025, the same length of his Villarreal deal.

From the Yellows’ perspective, it is an €8million investment down the drain, and with only 34 La Liga appearances to show for it.

But given the amount of full-backs at Unai Emery’s disposal, it was important for the club to trim Pena from the wage bill.