They’re all English players named in Spanish La Liga squads.
With the British tabloid press getting over excited about Gareth Bale’s impending transfer to Real Madrid, there’s already a British player set to make an impact in Spain’s top division. Just two seasons ago former Grimsby defender I’Anson was fourth choice and playing against part time opposition in Bath and Hayes and Yeading. Now he’s in the first team squad at newly promoted Elche and, after making the sub’s bench yesterday against Rayo, could be swapping a Tuesday night on the North Sea for a Sunday evening at the Nou Camp marking Messi.
I’Anson came through the youth ranks at Grimsby Town after growing up in Spain. The centre-half was given his chance by Paul Hurst and Rob Scott but found it difficult to get a strong run in the side. That said, whenever he played he made an impression and, had he not got injured at Lincoln on Boxing Day in the 2011/12 season, who knows what may have happened. But when his contract ran out at the end of the season, I’Anson left after an allegedly derisory offer to keep him. He went back to Spain, trialled with Elche and got a deal with their second team. This pre-season he was given a squad number for the newly promoted first team and now finds himself swapping Blundell Park for some of the biggest stadiums in the world.
I’Anson didn’t get off the bench yesterday evening as his side went down 3-0. But as the Mariners line up against the likes of Nuneaton, Alfreton and Hyde in the next few weeks, I’Anson has Real Madrid (24 September), Valencia (24 November) and Barca (5 Jan). Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo. Not bad for a lad who couldn’t get a regular game in the Conference!
(Image taken from Elche’s official club website)
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