East Fife have pulled off one of the transfer coups of the season by signing a Champions League player with Spanish giants Real Sociedad as an amateur.
The Fifers have recruited defender Julen Etxabeguren Leanizbarrutia, who was in Sociedad’s squad of 25 players for the Champions League last season before he decided to make a lifestyle change and head for Scotland to attend university in the summer.
The 23-year-old has been training with Gary Naysmith’s squad for the past month, however the former Scottish internationalist kept his plans to sign the Spaniard quiet as he did not think that the club would be able to pull it off.
Leanizbarrutia was with the club now managed by David Moyes for four years. Naysmith said: “We got the chance to bring Julen in a few weeks ago to have a look at him. He never established himself at Real Sociedad, however you must be a decent player to make their squad for the Champions League.
“He has been outstanding in training and in bounce games, and it has been frustrating waiting to get everything in place to sign him. He will be an amateur just now and then we will look to move him to a professional contract in January.”