FC Twente have confirmed the arrival of Spanish defender Julio Pleguezuelo from Arsenal on a two-year contract.
Pleguezuelo, who is the first departure from Arsenal ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window, has the option of extending his deal by a further year.
Who is Julio Pleguezuelo: Five key things to know…
- Pleguezuelo is a centre-back who spent his youth career at four different clubs in Spain.
- He played for Atletico Baleares, Espanyol, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona before moving to Arsenal in 2013.
- The 22-year-old spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Mallorca and the second half of the 2017/18 season on loan at Gimnastic.
- He finally made his senior debut for the Gunners in the League Cup last season.
- But he will not wear the Arsenal shirt again after sealing a permanent move to FC Twente.
Twente were relegated from the Eredivisie last season but secured an immediate return to the top-flight this term.
Pleguezuelo joins Aitor Cantalapiedra and Javier Espinosa in a trio of former Barcelona players at Twente.
And the former Spain youth international has said he is looking forward to joining up with his countrymen in the Netherlands.
“It feels good to be here now, in this beautiful stadium with this beautiful club,” Pleguezuelo told Twente’s official website.
“The talks with FC Twente have gone fairly quickly lately and I look forward to playing here soon. I know Aitor and Javier Espinosa from my time at Barcelona and it will be nice to play with them later.”
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Pleguezuelo on Twente’s radar “for some time” – Van Leeuwen
There have been some calls for Pleguezuelo to be given a chance in the first-team following a string of impressive displays for Arsenal’s Under-23 side.
But Unai Emery clearly doesn’t think the 22-year-old is of a standard to challenge for a place in the senior side.
That news comes as a boost to Twente technical director, Ted van Leeuwen, who says Pleguezuelo’s arrival is a huge boost to the club.
“FC Twente is delighted that Julio has chosen us for the next step in his career,” Van Leeuwen said. “He had several options. The way in which he defends fits perfectly with our game concept.
“We had Julio on the radar for some time, but his contract with Arsenal continued until the end of the season. He stood out in the period in which he was loaned to Gimnastic de Tarragona. Julio made a deep impression by virtually eliminating all strikers.
“He is not the tallest, but defends forward with a passion that is reminiscent of Bruno Uvini. Moreover, he is good on the ball and therefore fits perfectly in the game as we envisage it.
“Julio was trained in FC Barcelona’s youth academy and continued his training at Arsenal. Needless to say, this is an excellent basis. In the Netherlands, he hopes to be a first team player to develop further.”