Mumbai : Mumbai City FC on Sunday announced the signing of midfielder Hernan Santana ahead of the 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League (ISL). The 30-year old Spaniard has joined the Islanders on a season-long loan from Spanish second division side Real Sporting de Gijon. Santana, a native of Las Palmas in Spain, started his youth career at UD Las Palmas, progressing from their U-19 team to the B team, and eventually to the senior team in 2011. It was at Las Palmas where Santana played under current Mumbai City head coach Sergio Lobera for two seasons between 2012 and 2014.
“I’ve known Sergio Lobera from my time in Spain. He is a highly respected coach back home and I had two fantastic years playing under him. He played a major role in bringing me here to Mumbai City, and the vision and the ambitions of the club made the decision even easier for me. The ISL has a huge profile in Spain and in Europe and the steady rise in the quality of the league is for everyone to see,” said Santana in a statement. An integral part of his boyhood club, Santana made 133 appearances over six seasons for Las Palmas, including three seasons in LaLiga. In 2018, he moved to Sporting Gijon, where he scored and assisted twice in 31 appearances over two seasons in the Segunda Division, the second tier of Spanish football. Lobera said, “Hernan is someone I have worked with in the past in Spain. He is a hard worker, on and off the ball and he adds a lot of character and experience into our squad.”