Norwich City: Xavi Quintilla signs for Santa Clara
11:28 a.m. July 6, 2022
Norwich City title winner Xavi Quintilla has a new club after signing for Portuguese side Santa Clara Acores.
The 25-year-old was part of Daniel Farke’s side that lifted the Championship trophy in 2020/21 after joining a season-long loan from Champions League semi-finalists Villareal.
Norwich had an option to make the deal permanent for around £3m but opted not to activate it after signing Dimitris Giannoulis on a permanent basis upon promotion to the Premier League.
The Spaniard spent last season on loan at Segunda Liga side Leganes, making 15 appearances.
Quintilla was heavily linked with a move to City’s Championship rivals Preston North End earlier this summer, with an inability to secure a work permit believed to be the cause of the dropout.
North End then signed former City left-back Robbie Brady on a free transfer and Quintilla had to sign for Portuguese side Santa Clara on a two-year contract.
The former City defender will face Mansur and Paulo Henrique to become Santa Clara’s starting left-back next season.
Santa Clara finished seventh in the Primeira Liga last season, just eight points from European qualification. The hope is that Quintilla will inject some quality that could help them reach the Europa Conference League next season.
Writing on his Instagram, Quintilla said: “I’m very happy to arrive in Santa Clara and in Liga Portugal! (I’m coming) With a lot of desire to start this new project in a league that excites me a lot! I have can’t wait to get started.”
Quintilla made just 11 appearances for City in the 20/21 campaign but was a popular member of the dressing room.
He netted twice for the Canaries, with strikes against QPR and a superb free-kick in their final home game of the season against Reading which secured the league title.
Speaking of his impact at Carrow Road last summer, former City boss Farke of Quintilla: “Everyone loves him in this group. He is such a great personality. He was struggling with so many chances against him during the season.
“Sometimes it was even cruel to leave him out of the team because he is incredibly professional, always with a smile on his face. Besides, he has a lot of quality.
“Yes, it was a difficult season for him on a personal level. It means a lot to be one of the members who represented that yellow jersey. A fantastic player and, more importantly, a fantastic human being.