Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) announced earlier this week that they have secured the signing of Natxo Insa. The Spaniard will be registered as a local player which would mean that barring any unwanted delay, JDT is confident that they would get his Malaysian passport application through on time for the return of domestic season.
Insa is a player who has spent most of his career in the second division in Spain which is the Segunda Division but has got the experience of playing top flight football for one season in his one year sojourn in Turkish football.
In the 2016-17 season, Insa played a pivotal role in helping his Levante side get promoted back into the Primera Division where the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid awaits them in the 2017-18 season. Goal profiles Insa and see how he can fit into the current JDT team.
Full name: Ingnacio Insa Bohigues (Natxo Insa)
Position: Defensive midfielder
Previous clubs: Levante, Alcorcon, Real Zaragoza, Antalyaspor, Celta Vigo, Villareal, Valencia
"Insa is a box-to-box midfielder and he was a regular starter in the Levante side that dominated the Second Division this season. There is not much we can say about his attributes and playing style as he has played most of his career in that category."
"He had a decent showing in his lone First Division season with Celta five years ago, but the team opted not to renew his contract and he went to the Turkish league, where he didn't have much success.
"He is a bit of a nomad that never spents more than two seasons in the same team and he just left a goodbye message for Levante in which he siad he is leaving because he didn't felt truly appreciated by the team."
Luis Herrera (Deputy Editor, Goal Spain)
Played: 35 out 41 Levante matches in Segunda Division
Started: 31 matches
Sub off: 17 times
Sub on: 4 times
Yellow cards: 5
How will he fit in at JDT
As a defensive midfielder, Insa will likely take over the role presently occupied by Afiq Fazail. In comparatively easier home or away games, Insa could be fielded as the lone protector of the defence alongside one or two more attacking type of midfielders like Safiq Rahim or Gabriel Guerra. Should the game or tactics called for it, Benjamin Mora could also field Afiq or Amirulhadi Zainal beside Insa to enable JDT's midfield to be better defensively.
Having played for years in Europe, even at the age of 31, Insa could definitely feature for JDT for a good number of seasons to come. Insa's goalcoring record would suggest he would not be much of a threat to the opponent's goal but at his height, could well trouble defences during set pieces as well as providing the necessary cover within his own penalty box for such instances.