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Changing times for Albion's Armada
Albion assistant turned first team coach Nathan Jones will not be speaking as much Spanish this season.
And that is not just because Oscar Garcia is no longer in charge of the team.
Albion’s Spanish Armada has taken a big hit.
Oscar has returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv, taking goalkeeping coach Ruben Martinez and fitness coach Juan Torrijo back to Israel with him.
The playing squad also has much less of a Spanish feel to it. Right-back rivals Bruno and Inigo Calderon might suddenly be feeling a little lonely.
When Albion launched their Championship campaign at Leeds last season under Oscar there were four Spaniards in the starting line-up.
Bruno and Calderon were accompanied at Elland Road by midfielders Andrea Orlandi and David Lopez.
Orlandi, surprisingly, and David, predictably, were among the players released last month.
So too, again predictably, was striker David Rodriguez, signed on a short-term contract from Celta Vigo at the end of the January transfer window.
When Sami Hyypia’s Seagulls kick-off at home to Sheffield Wednesday on August 9 there could be only one Spaniard in the starting line-up, Bruno or Calderon.
Unless that is Zigor Aranalde, Albion’s European scout, has identified fellow countrymen in the squad revamping process.
Meanwhile, for Orlandi, Lopez and Rodriguez, they find themselves among a multitude trying to find a new club in the climate of Financial Fair Play.
Orlandi, back home in Barcelona, said: “Clubs are taking ages to make decisions. If they can spend £1 less they will do it.
“I’m still waiting. Nothing is lined up yet. There are some clubs interested but nothing official.”
David and Rodriguez are keen on a return to Spain. Orlandi, who spent five years at Swansea before joining Albion, is more open-minded.
He said: “I have an offer from abroad from a lower club but I don’t want to go. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks something will come up.
“I’d like to stay playing in England but it would probably have to be Championship level if I stay. I could go back to Spain. That could also be a possibility.”
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