Mumbai City FC on Sunday announced the signing of midfielder Hernan Santana on a season-long loan from Spanish second division side Sporting 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 Sergio Lobera for two seasons between 2012 and 2014.

An integral part of his boyhood club, Santana made 133 appearances over six seasons for Las Palmas, including three seasons in the Spanish La Liga. In 2018, Santana moved to Sporting Gijon, where he scored and assisted twice in 31 appearances over two seasons in the second tier of Spanish football.

Santana said that Mumbai City's vision was one of the reasons behind his loan move.

“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.”

ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City FC signs Phurba Lachenpa  

“I’ve heard a lot about the city of Mumbai and the fans already. I can’t wait to get started and compete for trophies with my new teammates, and most importantly, help make the city and its supporters proud.”

Head Coach, Sergio Lobera felt his experience of working with Santana will help him at Mumbai City.

“Hernán 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. I spoke to Hernán in our conversations about the things we want to achieve here at Mumbai City and he has been committed to our vision since the very start. I am delighted to have him with us and I am sure our supporters will also enjoy seeing a player of Hernán’s calibre.”