FC Groningen hires ‘man putter’ Leal from Villarreal

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FC Groningen has strengthened itself on Saturday with Miguel Ángel Leal. The Spanish fullback is rented from Villarreal for a season with an option to buy.

‘It fits in our playing style’

The 23-year-old Leal was sidetracked at the La Liga club. Last season, he played his league games in the second team. Only in the Copa del Rey did he once in action in the main force. He was previously loaned to Real Murcia, which plays at the third level in Spain. Leal’s contract with Villarreal expires in mid-2021.

Leal can play on the right or left side of the wing in the back. In those positions trainer Danny Buijs can also use some reinforcement, after the departure of Deyovaisio Zeefuik to Hertha BSC, Amir Absalem (Roda JC) and Django Warmerdam (FC Utrecht).

Leal describes himself as a “fast and powerful” player. “A back who stands up defensively and also makes an offensive contribution”, he says on the website from FC Groningen.

FC Groningen had Leal on the wish list for a long time. “We saw him live several times last season and we already started talking to him in November last year,” says technical director Mark-Jan Fledderus.

The player then opted for a longer stay at Villarreal, but Fledderus is happy that he is now still inside. The director thinks Leal will do well in the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadium. “Miguel is a fast defender and a real man putter. With his dynamics he fits perfectly within our playing style.”

The next Eredivisie match of FC Groningen is on Sunday at 12.15 pm. Buijs’s team then plays against ADO Den Haag.

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