Official: Leganés sign Palencia

The side returns to Leganés after his first loan from Saint Etienne. The Gauls, affected by the crisis, return to leave it on loan.


Leganés made official late on Friday the signing of Sergi Palencia from Saint Etienne. The right-back returns to Leganés after his first assignment and does so again on loan. This time, however, a purchase option is included, unlike last season. With a contract until 2023, the economic crisis that plagues French football, the player's desire to return and not be included in the plans of his coach have driven the defender back to the south of the capital.

In Butaque it had been marked as one of its priorities in the current summer market. Helped by the footballer's own desire (25 years old) and by the economic crisis that plagues French football, the operation, despite being complicated, seemed feasible. Today these forecasts have been closed until the full-back became the second signing of the season after Xavi Quintillà. Curiously, the two shared a dressing room at Barça B with Rodri Tarín, also a member of the Leganés squad.

As last season, the player does not count in the plans of Claude Puel, coach of the French. His departure was necessary for sports and also economically for a club that, like the entire competition, is in full adjustment. The entity's objective is to reduce expenses and wage bill with a notable reduction in its budget.

A crisis to push his signing

As AS said, the crisis in Ligue-1, with a reduction in the global budget of the competition close to 50%, had become an unexpected ally for this operation. And all despite the fact that Saint Etienne had made it clear in his first transfer of the footballer that he did not want to part with him. In that loan, he avoided the option of assigning it, not even in the hypothetical case of Leganés' promotion.

In 2019 he invested three million in incorporating the Catalan from Barça B after a good year at Girondins de Bordeaux, where the outfield player with the most minutes at Leganés last season (3,008) tried his luck. Untouchable for Martí, it was also for Garitano. The player felt important as a team had not been for a long time. Quite the opposite had happened to him at Saint Etienne, where Claude Puel obviated him from his teams by taking over the bench in a relief that hurt Palencia.

“I would love to stay”

“I have already said it, I would love to stay. I am super comfortable here. My girlfriend too. I like the dressing room, I like the facilities, I like the people at the club… I am delighted. Respecting the club with which I have a contract, of course. It would be necessary to speak and see what formulas. And Leganés, of course, if you agree with me staying ... but personally I want to stay at Leganés ”, Palencia himself confessed to AS last season.

Palencia joined the Saint Etienne preparation stay on July 5. He did so somewhat later than the rest of his teammates for having played the playoff for promotion to the First Division with Leganés. The last game with the pepineros was played on June 6. Palencia has not been part of either of the two Saint Etienne calls in their first two friendlies of the summer.

Clinging to that desire to continue in Butarque, Leganés have been in dialogue with Saint Etienne and with the player himself for weeks to make a real addition that shields the right side, for now only occupied by Bustinza. The renewal of the captain drowned the urge to find a right-handed side, but did not stop the work to hire Palencia. Because Bustinza has a different profile than what a Palencia offers with a greater projection in attack and the possibility of even playing ahead of defense, as happened during a good part of last season.

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