May, earlier this year. Elche CF are relegated from the Segunda after 18 years spent in the top two tiers of Spanish football.
The morale in the club and amongst the fanbase is at an all-time low. One of the main grievances amongst the fans is that there are too many loan players and short-term signings at the club, too many mercenaries who don’t understand the meaning of playing for Elche CF.
One of these players is Fabian Ruiz Peña, on loan from Real Betis. Having been a part of the Betis squad that were promoted from Segunda in the 2014-15 season, Peña is not enjoying the same success with Elche.
Fast forward to now – October of the same year. There are now strong rumours of interest from Real Madrid in the very same Fabian Ruiz Peña.
Despite still being far from a regular in the Betis team, he has shown real glimpses of his potential in the opportunities he has been given and senior decision makers at Madrid are said to be impressed. His current contract at Betis runs until 2020 but Betis are understandably rumoured to be working on extending it currently, in order to add in a buy-out clause of €30m.
Encouraged by the relative ease at which Peña’s fellow Betis academy product (and good friend) Dani Ceballos has made the transition between the two clubs; it seems very likely that there will be a bid forthcoming in future transfer windows if Peña continues his current rate of progression.
Betis are back in action against Valencia on Sunday at 8:45PM (CET).