Among ten new faces to come through the doors at Colney this summer, was Villarreal left-back Xavi Quintilla. Other than a ‘sensational’ piece in The Athletic, he’s largely gone under the radar. So…
In this piece, I will be taking a look at his history and what we can expect to see on the pitch from our new man.
He was born on August 23rd, 1996 in Lleida in Spain and is 23 years old. He stands 5ft 10in and has an older brother, Jordi, who currently plays for St. Gallen in Switzerland.
Both came through Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, so Xavi has certainly had a very good football education.
His time at Barcelona came to an end in September 2017, after having his contract terminated, and he immediately signed a deal with Villarreal’s B team.
Fast forward a year and he made his debut in the Copa Del Ray against UD Almeida and then his La Liga debut shortly after in a defeat to Celta Vigo.
He has played for Spain at Under-16, 17, 18, and 19 levels and this past season he made 19 appearances in the league and a further four in the Copa Del Ray. His stats for those games were e no goals, two assists, and seven yellow cards.
He is considered comfortable with the ball at his feet as well as having a very good range of passing and will try to play his way out of trouble, so those around him need to be aware just in case he loses it. His perceived weakness is heading the ball, and also his crosses can sometimes be wayward but it doesn’t stop him taking on the next man and trying again.
In Farkeball terms, he is very comfortable in playing quick accurate short passes to get the ball moving and, unlike a lot of the Spanish left-backs, he does not favour diving in on his opponent, preferring instead to stand them up and wait for support.
His initial deal is a season-long loan and with Jamal Lewis still being touted for a move away from Carrow Road, I think his arrival will result in one of two scenarios.
Scenario 1: Lewis leaves, most likely to Leicester City if Chilwell leaves, and Tagliafico moves to Barcelona, which would mean it will be Sam McCallum and Quintilla fighting it out to start.
Scenario 2: Lewis stays and fights it out with Quintilla and McCallum heads out on loan – most likely back to Coventry for their season in the Championship.
My only major concern with any Spanish player is are they mentally and physically tough enough for an unforgiving league like the Championship? He certainly talks about his willingness to fight and play as much as he can, both very good attributes to have for the season ahead.
Below is an interview done by Alberto Edjogo-Owono on his own Youtube channel, that he did with Quintilla on May 19th this year. It is in Spanish but the English subtitles give you an insight into his personality etc.
This is what Daniel Farke had to say about his latest recruit courtesy of the official Norwich City webpage.
“Xavi is a player we’ve been following and tracking for some time.
“I’m 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’s 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’ve now been able to add competition and options in those areas.”
And this is what Xavi had to say on his decision to join Norwich City, also courtesy of the same page.
“I’m so happy and proud to be here and to play for Norwich in England and the Championship.
“My philosophy and my football are similar to Norwich’s. I played before for Villarreal and Barcelona’s academy, and I think Norwich works a bit like them, so it’s 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.”
The player also gave a one-on-one interview with the club that also appears on the official site. It’s here.
Hopefully, we will all be back to give our support on match days soon, something I can say I have missed a lot from not only the perspective of the game itself but all the social activities before and after kick-off.