Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas Signs Contract Extension Until 2023

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2019

VIGO, SPAIN - APRIL 07:  Iago Aspas of Celta de Vigo celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the La Liga match between RC Celta de Vigo and Real Sociedad at Abanca-Balaidos on April 07, 2019 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Celta Vigo will be able to count on the goals of Iago Aspas until 2023 after the 31-year-old forward signed a contract extension on Wednesday.

Aspas' decision was reported by Football Espana, who noted how much of a boost it offers the club still fighting to avoid relegation from La Liga: "Aspas had missed three months of action with a calf problem, coinciding with his side's form plummeting but netted five goals in three games since his return."

Even with those goals, Celta remain just a point above the bottom three. Having Aspas available has to make manager Fran Escriba's team a favourite to ultimately achieve safety.

Aspas staying put is not only a huge boost to Celta, it's also a pleasing show of loyalty from the player who returned to the club in 2015 after a brief and ill-fated spell with Liverpool:

Football Espana's report also noted how Aspas was set to be out of contract in 2021. His decision to prolong his stay at Balaidos makes sense given how much his form has been revived since his return, netting 85 goals in all competitions since rejoining the club.

This season, Aspas is the highest-scoring Spaniard in La Liga. He's also keeping pace with some of the game's most gifted stars:

Those numbers will likely surprise Liverpool fans, who may remember Aspas as a timid figure who failed to assert himself after being brought to Anfield by Brendan Rodgers back in 2013.

However, such struggles are now merely distant memories for a striker who has come into his own. Although he wears No. 9, Aspas is far removed from a traditional target man.

Instead, he's all about perceptive movement, drifting out wide to drag markers on to the flanks or dropping off the front to help link play.

Through a mixture of intelligence and versatility, Aspas has not only made himself essential for Celta, but he's also become a useful option for the Spain national team.

Aspas has played his way into good standing at international level.
Aspas has played his way into good standing at international level.Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Aspas scored a debut international goal against England in 2016, and he's since netted for his country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

If Aspas can help Celta beat the drop, his new contract makes him the ideal talisman to build a more competitive team around ahead of next season.  

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