Cruz Azul midfielder Peñalaba, the latest addition to UD's squad

Gabriel Martín Peñalba (born in Quilmes, Buenos Aires, on 23rd September 1984), is the first signing made by UD Las Palmas in the winter transfer window. As soon as he relinquishes ties with his previous club, Cruz Azul de México, he will pull on the yellows' shirt for the rest of this season and the next. He plays in midfield and is 1.94 metres tall.


27/12/2017 09:00

Peñalba, whose footballing nicknames include Gaby, Flaco and Mago, was one of the most important players playing under Paco Jémez while the latter was managing Cruz Azul, making 36 appearances for them. He was raised in the youth leagues of Boca Juniors and Deportivo Morón. He plays as a holding midfielder, and is known for his skilfull ball control from out of defence, has a long stride, covers the pitch well, and is good in the air thanks to his clear height advantage.

He is Argentinian, and made his First Division debut with Quilmes, a small club in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. He became champion with Estudiantes de La Plata in the Torneo Apertura 2010, under Alejandro Sabella, the ex-manager of the Argentinian national side.

Gabriel Peñalba has experience of playing in Europe, as he played on loan for Italian club Cagliari. He then moved on to FC Lorient in France, who paid Argentinos Juniors a transfer fee of 1.5 million euros. He also spent a short spell at Club Atlético Tigre in Argentina. In his period in Mexico, before turning out for Cruz Azul, he played for Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz, who sold him on for 1.2 million euros. He arrives at UD Las Palmas on the recommendation of Paco Jémez.

Once freeing up his contract with previous side Cruz Azul, 33 year old Peñalba puts pen to paper with UD Las Palmas for the rest of the season, plus a further year. He is due to land in Gran Canaria this Thursday, at 10.35 from Madrid, and once he has passed the club's medical exam he will be officially presented.