Chennaiyin FC look to have their central midfield set with Raphael Agusto and Gavilan planning to hunt in pairs.
Chennaiyin FC has completed the signing of Spanish attacking midfielder Jaime Gavilan Martinez for the 2017-18 season of the Hero Indian Super League. The 32-year-old joins the 2015 ISL champions on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract at South Korean club Suwon FC.
A product of the Valencia youth academy, Gavilan represented Spain at various age group levels. He was part of Spain’s U-16 and U-19 Euro success in 2001 and 2004 and was also a member of the 2003 U-20 World Cup squad that lost to Brazil in the final.
Gavilan spent four seasons in the senior team of his boyhood club Valencia but most of his time there was spent on loan to Getafe and Tenerife. However, he appeared for Valencia in both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
In 2008, Gavilan sealed a permanent move to Getafe and spent six seasons there. In 2014 he moved to Levante but soon joined Greek outfit Platanias.
Gavilan played in the second season of the Hero ISL for ATK. He made 15 starts for the Kolkata franchise, bagging three assists and helped them reach the semifinals, where they lost to eventual champions Chennaiyin FC 4-2 on aggregate. After leaving ISL, Gavilan has been playing for South Korea’s Suwon FC.
Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory said, “Gavilan has exceptional technical quality with a fantastic CV. He also has the past experience of having played in the ISL two years ago when he had a very good season. He will add great value to our team going forward.”
Gavilan added, “I am delighted to return to India and the ISL. I would like to thank Chennaiyin FC for giving me a chance to come back to India. I enjoyed my time here both on and off the field but this time I want to win the title. I look forward to giving my very best for Chennaiyin FC.”
The playmaker played 16 games for the Kolkata Reds-and-Whites and make three assists for the Sanjeev Goenka-owned club. The player is known for his transition abilities and for threading pin-point passes. With Raphael Agusto’s security behind him, Gavilan is certain to play a free role and create goals in numbers for the likes for Jeje Lalpekhlua and Mohd. Rafi.