El Centrocampista

Campana to help Eagles soar

Isco, Thiago and Illarramendi will be the first names of the Spanish youngsters to jump out after recent high profile moves, but there is one promising twenty year old who will be there for all to see in the upcoming Premier League season, donning the red and blue of Crystal Palace.

Jose Campana, signed by Ian Holloway for £1.75 million, has all the components to be the magician in the middle of the park for the Eagles this season.

Campana, 20, is the captain of the Spanish U20 side and is arriving in England, having already tasted success, having won the 2011 and 2012 U19 championships in a squad over brimming with talent, including Gerard Deulofeu (Everton & Barcelona) and Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid).

The fee of £1.75 million is a shrewd piece of business and will only emphasise how much of a coup this could be for the South London club. The small fee paid to bring the midfielder to London works on so many levels, as it will mean the pressure of the youngster’s shoulders will be minimal, with many Eagles fans not knowing what to expect.

Whilst it is true that as with the excitment of every new signing there will be the odd fan looking for him to make everything tick, but for such a small fee, this cannot be expected of him immediately, even more so at such a tender age.

In the 2010/11 season, when in charge of Blackpool, Holloway was forced to search for ‘bargain’ signings due to a small budget for transfers and wages. Holloway delivered and came within 45 minutes of keeping the Seasiders in the Premier League.

This season will no doubt prove similar for Holloway as Palace, who were almost liquidated 5 years ago, are looking to sustainability and the future of the club. Holloway will no doubt instruct his team to attack and to not show too much respect to their opponents. His experience of that season in the Premier League will no doubt have taught him a lesson that will try to pass on to his current club.

At the forefront of Blackpool’s charge that season was Charlie Adam. His creative expertise made him key to everything Blackpool did well and his goals and assists were vital as they came so close to defying the odds. Holloway will be looking for Campana to have a similar impact on the Crystal Palace team as his drive, range of passing and pinpoint deliveries are similar to that of the Scotsman.

Campana joins from Sevilla, where he was schooled and rose through the club’s ranks went on to make 20 La Liga appearances for ‘Los Rojiblancos’ last season. He is a player, who not unlike Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Juan Mata, can create openings on the pitch with exemplary vision. His touch, movement and short passing ability are first class, as is expected from a Spanish player nowadays.

Another strength of Campana is that he is a talented set-piece taker, meaning that his free-kicks and corners will be vital to Crystal Palace this season. As a midfielder, he is also a capable defensive player, meaning he will track back when not in possession of the ball. Finally, Campana has good acceleration, meaning he is able to burst pass his opponents and will profit greatly from Mile Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgaco sitting behind him, allowing him the creative freedom in the middle of the park.

Some players aren’t built for the Premier League and years ago the Premier League wasn’t somewhere that appealed to Spanish players. In recent years, this has all changed with a lot of Spanish internationals now choosing to ply their trade in England. Whether Campana is suited to the Premier League and hits the ground running will remain to be seen. But the U20 Spain captain, who was a regular in the first team for a club plying their trade in the Europa League, Campana may well prove to be the signing of the season.


  1. Joe

    2 August, 2013 at 10:15

    Excellent summary. Could prove to be a coup, and I hope so!

  2. Vejoan

    13 August, 2013 at 01:06

    He wasn’t a “regular in the first team”! Get your facts straight. He’s a promising player but he only started 8 games (including The King’s Cup and Europa League) in his 2 years in the first team, with 16 games as a substitute and only one complete match, playing a total of 820 minutes combining both years.

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