Mexico youth star Espericueta loaned to Villarreal

Tigres loaned Jorge Jonathan Espericueta (pictured) to Spain's Villarreal on January 31, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)

SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico – Tigres announced Friday that it reached an agreement with Villarreal that will see Jorge Jonathan Espericueta be loaned to the Spanish side for one year without an option to buy.

The Mexico youth international will play with Villarreal B until the end of the current season.

“In reality, it was all quite simple,” Espericueta, 19, told Villarreal TV.  “I knew that there was an interest from Villarreal and I did not think it to myself.  It is a big club and I wanted to play in Europe.  Now, I hope to be able to help the team with my game.

“Villarreal B is very well placed in the table and it would be beautiful to be able to contest a promotion phase. I am very hard working and I come to contribute everything I can to the team.”

Espericueta first rose to prominence as a key performer in Mexico’s 2011 FIFA U-17 Championship title-winning squad, playing every minute of the Tricolor’s seven games and winning the Silver Ball.  He scored two goals in the competition, including one in a 3-2 semifinal victory over Germany.

At the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, Espericueta converted a 113th minute penalty kick, as Mexico defeated the United States, 3-1, after extra time in the final.  Later that year, the midfielder appeared in four FIFA U-20 World Cup encounters and tallied once.

On September 18, 2012, Espericueta made a memorable debut for Tigres, netting an 89th minute equalizer in a 1-1 CONCACAF Champions League draw at Nicaragua’s Real Esteli.

At Villarreal, he will join Mexico senior squad members Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Aquino.

“They are the best players in Mexico and it is an honor to be by their side” expressed Espericueta.  “They are footballers from whom you can learn a lot and one of my goals is precisely to learn as much as possible in Europe.”