DERBY County’s new signing Omar Mascarell says he can grow as a person and a footballer in his new club.
Mascarell, speaking through an interpreter, added that joining the Rams on a season-long loan from Spanish giants Real Madrid is a “very good choice” for him.The 21-year-old Spanish Youth international is also looking forward to playing and learning under head coach Steve McClaren.
“Derby County is a great option for me. I can come here, grow as a person and grow as a footballer,” said Mascarell, who will wear the number 33 shirt.
“It is a very important year for me. The most important thing is having Steve McClaren coaching me. He wants to play good football.”
Mascarell has played most of his football for Real Madrid’s B team, Castilla, in Segunda Division B, often in the holding role in midfield.
He made his debut for Real’s first team when he came off the bench and replaced Mesut Ozil in the 4-2 home victory over Osasuna last year. It was Jose Mourinho’s final game in charge at the Bernabeu.
Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti was impressed by Mascarell during Real’s pre-season tour of the USA last month and the player has recently signed a new long-term deal.
He is described on Real Madrid’s official website as ‘a thinker, the brain of Castilla. A natural organiser and technically gifted’.
Mascarell is excited about the challenge ahead.
“Obviously, the Premier League is much more famous in Spain but I have been studying the Championship, so I do know a bit about it,” he said.
“I started off in a small village in Tenerife and then I went to a bigger team called Laraguna where I had my football education until my agent took me to Real Madrid, where I have been for four years.
“Obviously Madrid has seen a big improvement in my development.
“Now I have got the opportunity to come to Derby in the Championship and I have great hopes and expectations for my time here.
“I thank Real Madrid for four amazing years there and all they have taught me.”
Mascarell joins Will Hughes and John Eustace in the battle to fill the holding role in midfield following the injury to George Thorne, who is out for up to nine months after undergoing surgery to repair cruciate ligament damage in his left knee.
Mascarell says his best position is in front of the back four.
“The play comes through me and I control it, taking the ball off the back four and passing it around,” he added.
He has thanked the Derby fans for the “fantastic” welcome he has received.