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5

Daniel Ayala

Defender

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Biography

Date of birth

07/11/1990

Height

190 cm

Signed

18/09/2020

Country

Spain

An arrival late in the summer transfer window in 2020, Daniel Ayala brings plenty of Championship experience to the Rovers squad.

The 30-year-old centre-back, who has started over 250 games in English football, put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal at Ewood Park following his departure from Championship rivals Middlesbrough.

Born in Seville, Ayala started out in the youth system with his hometown team, before joining Liverpool, where he made five Premier League appearances during the 2009-10 season, with his two starts for the club resulting in 4-0 victories over both Stoke City and Burnley.

Following loan spells at Hull City and Derby County, the towering defender joined Premier League new boys Norwich City in August 2011.

A team-mate of Elliott Bennett and Bradley Johnson during his time at Carrow Road, Ayala’s first season in Norfolk was interrupted by injuries, before he spent time on loan at Nottingham Forest and then Middlesbrough.

Having enjoyed a successful spell at the Riverside, his move to the Teessiders was made permanent in January 2014, becoming new manager Aitor Karanka’s first permanent signing.

Over the past seven seasons prior to moving to Rovers, the Spaniard, who has represented his country at Under-21 level, made over 200 appearances for Middlesbrough, scoring 23 goals.

He played a pivotal role as the North East club clinched promotion to the Premier League in 2015-16, starting 34 Championship games as Boro secured second spot.

He came close to earning another promotion in 2017-18, only to lose out to Aston Villa in the play-offs, before finishing seventh the following season.

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