Norwich City have announced the signing of Villarreal CF full-back Xavi Quintilla on a season-long loan, subject to international clearance.
The Canaries, who also signed Tottenham midfielder Oliver Skipp on loan yesterday, will retain the option to make the deal permanent throughout the 2020-21 season.
23-year old Quintilla joins after making 32 and 52 appearances for Villarreal and Villarreal B respectively in all competitions, including one in the Europa League in the 2018-19 campaign. The Spaniard began his career at Lleida, before moving to Barcelona's La Masia academy in 2009. He then moved to Villarreal in 2017.
City add further depth to squad in busy summer
After getting deals for promising talents such as Everton winger Kieran Dowell and USA Under-20 striker Sebastian Soto over the line last month amongst others, Quintilla becomes Norwich's ninth summer signing in what has already been a hectic past few weeks in Norfolk.
This heightened activity will reassure many fans that the club are being proactive in their preparations for another season in the Championship. But perhaps more importantly, this transfer provides depth to a squad whose lack of options was ruthlessly exposed last season.
Quintilla has represented Spain from Under-16 to Under-19 level, and provides further choice for Daniel Farke in the full-back position. The club recently announced Sam Byram is set to miss the start of next season due to a hamstring injury, with young starlets Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons the subjects of intense transfer speculation in recent weeks.
Along with the arrival of Bali Mumba from Sunderland, this deal provides reassurance to those in yellow and green that, should Aarons or Lewis leave the club, City's defence - a point of real weakness in the last campaign - will be able to withstand the rigours of the Championship season.
"I am so happy and proud to be here"
Speaking to the club, Quintilla said:
“I am so happy and proud to be here and to play for Norwich in England and in the Championship.
“My philosophy and my football is similar to Norwich’s. I played before for Villarreal and Barcelona’s academy, and I think Norwich works a bit like them, so it is great for me.
“I come here to play as many minutes as possible. We want to play good football for the fans to see. I would love to play in the Premier League, so I will do everything possible to get Norwich into the top league.”
City boss Farke added:
“Xavi is a player we have been following and tracking for some time. I am happy it has been possible to sign him at this stage, because he is a young player with experience at the top level. He has played nearly 30 games in La Liga for Villarreal and also has experience in European competitions.
“He is a humble person who wants to develop his game. As a player, he has good technical and tactical skills and is very good in possession of the ball.
“We had a situation last season where we were a little short in the full-back areas, so we have now been able to add competition and options in those areas.”
Heise moves to Germany for second loan spell
Moving in the opposite direction is fellow City full-back Philip Heise, who has joined 2. Bundesliga side Karlsruher SC, also on a season-long loan.
The 29-year old joined Norwich in January 2019 from Dynamo Dresden, but has made only appearance for the club - an EFL Cup defeat to Crawley Town last August - as he spent the latter half of last season on loan at 1.FC Nuremburg.