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Spanish press point to Raul Albentosa's departure to Derby as major reason behind Eibar’s decline

The departure of Derby County defender Raul Albentosa has been cited by Marca as one of the major reasons behind Eibar’s decline.

Spanish publication Marca have cited Derby County defender Raul Albentosa’s absence as a major reason behind Eibar’s decline in the second half of the season.

Albentosa, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Derby in January, left the Spanish club when they were mid-table in La Liga and showing signs of progression rather than decline. However, three months later, Eibar find themselves just three points off 18th placed Deportivo La Coruna with five games to play.

The move seems to have been fairly ill-judged by both parties as the defender, who was named in La Liga’s December team of the month, has struggled to hit the ground running in the Championship.

In hindsight, a pre-contract agreement for Albentosa to sign for Derby in the summer could have possibly worked out better for all parties as it would have allowed him to get more exposure to top-flight football before coming over to England for a big pre-season.

What does the future hold for Albentosa at Derby?

Although the defender has struggled to set the world alight in his first three months at the club, he does look to possess some qualities which could still see him have a very successful career with the Rams.

He is a big, dominating defender who gives no striker an easy game. He rarely losses a battle in the air and looks to keep his marker close by. The positives he has shown so far do give Steve McClaren cause for optimism heading forward.

He does need to work on many other factors, like his distribution, over the summer but will get a whole pre-season to integrate within the squad properly and change his game to move in line with the club’s ethos.

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