Julio Pleguezuelo on a season's loan from Arsenal.

03-08-2016@RCD_Mallorca

Real Mallorca have signed 19-year-old Palma-born defender Julio Pleguezuelo on a season-long loan from Arsenal, which will delight all local “Gooners”. Emirates boss Arsene Wenger snapped up the Barcelona youth academy player three years ago, and the youngster is keen to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas.

Mallorca announced on Tuesday that a surprise signing was to be introduced to the media today but made no comment as to who the player was. We all thought it would be a new number nine striker (the quest for that key position to be filled continues) and it came as a total surprise that the club had signed this young, talented defender. To say the deal happened quickly and unexpectedly is an understatement. It was reported that Julio was here on holiday a few weeks ago and decided he wanted to play at Real Mallorca and be near his family and friends.

He's been the mainstay of Arsenal's under-18s and 19s during his time in north London and is a Spanish youth international. He gained his professional contract in April 2014 and was given the captaincy of the Arsenal under-21s in 2014/15. He missed most of that season after picking up a bad injury but came storming back in the spring and is expected to become one of the next generation of Arsenal youngsters to make it into the first-team squad. There's no doubt this signing is a major coup for Real Mallorca, albeit he's only here for a short time. Our new acquisition is a capable right back/centre back. Small for that position, he is extremely quick and is comfortable (as you'd expect given his La Masia pedigree) with the ball at his feet.

Born in Palma, he started his fledgling career at local side Atletic Balears then joined Espanyol's youth team. He later crossed the city to Barcelona's world-famous La Masia academy in July 2013. The Sunday People ran a story in 2014 reporting that the Arsenal boss was set for a Cesc Fabregas-style swoop on Barcelona's youth team for “brilliant” teenage defender Julio Pleguezuelo Selva (to give him his full name). The deal was done under the noses of Manchester City and Chelsea who also wanted his services.

The Daily Star revealed in February that Julio wanted to go out on loan in the summer to gain more experience. Mallorquinistas can't wait to see this young man in action, who's tipped to be one of the best centre-half prospects for many years.

It remains to be seen if he'll play in Saturday's friendly against West Brom.

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