Sporting Gijon Seal Agreement With MLS Striker

Former Villarreal striker Mario González has signed for La Liga 2 side Sporting Gijon on loan from Los Angeles FC.

González only moved to the States in July, but his return to Spain could be permanent – it’s reported there’s a clause in the contract that gives Gijon purchase rights, should they be promoted. Gijon are currently third in the table, two points shy of the top two.

The 27-year-old could make his debut this weekend against Tenerife, a side he has previously scored six goals in 16 games for in the same division. The signing is a show of intent from Gijon, who are hunting a return to La Liga for the first time since relegation in 2017.

González spent nine years with Villareal, coming through their ‘C’ and ‘B’ teams before making his senior debut for the club during a UEFA Champions League qualifying match vs. AS Monaco in 2016. He represented Spain at Under 17 level but struggled to break through with his domestic side.

He appeared six times for Villareal’s first team, including four La Liga appearances, and spent time on loan for French Ligue 2 team Clermont Foot, where he made 21 appearances and scored four goals.

Since then, he’s had a nomadic career. In 2020-2021, he scored 14 goals in 27 games for Tondela in the Portuguese First Division before a move to Braga. Whilst with Os Arcebispos, he was loaned to Belgium, scoring 13 goals and getting one assist in 22 games with OH Leuven.

He also enjoyed his Tenerife loan spell before a move to Los Angeles, which was reported to be worth €2.3 million. He started just five MLS games, scoring once, and is now set to return to a level he knows with Gijon.

Site Opinion

This is a big capture for Gijon. González has scored goals across Europe, and whilst he’s not a player likely to trouble the national team, he does have plenty to offer Gijon as they seek a return to the top flight.

There’s the added incentive of another stab at La Liga. González came through the ranks at Villarreal but couldn’t quite make the grade as a young man – will his extensive experience since see him finally crack the level he once seemed destined to grace for his entire career?

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