La Liga club Granada have announced the signing of Argentine striker Ezequiel Ponce on a season-long loan from Roma.
The 19-year-old has yet to feature for the Roma first team but impressed as part of the youth side that last season won the Campionato Nazionale Primavera (the Italian youth league) scoring ten goals in eleven appearances for the Giallorossi.
Coach Luciano Spalletti feels that the next stage of Ponce’s development is playing regular senior football and it appeared as though Sporting Gijon would be the destination, following the success of Paraguayan Tony Sanabria’s loan last season.
However, Granada moved swiftly when negotiations slowed with Sporting and Roma are confident that working under coach Paco Jémez will prove hugely beneficial to the young centre forward.
Ponce has been touted as one of Argentina’s future stars since bursting into the Newell’s Old Boys side at sixteen where El Tanque displayed a maturity and strength that is rarely seen among such young players.
The talent was obviously still raw but his hold-up play and ability to bring teammates into the attack were not lost on European scouts who immediately began to circle.
Roma managed to close a deal for around €5 million and if Ponce progresses at Granada as many think he could, the Giallarossi, the Graná and Argentina could benefit enormously.
Ponce was voted at number 27 in our countdown of Argentina’s best young players earlier this year.