5 forgotten ballers we can’t believe are playing in the Spanish Segunda Division


Segunda Division, La Liga 2, La Liga Hypermotion. Whatever you insist on calling it, the Spanish second tier is an untapped resource for forgotten footballers.

As football fans, give us as much as a minute of spare time and our minds will wander to the deepest, darkest, most forgotten-about corners of the game to think about and try and dig out those obscure players who seemed to vanish without a trace. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Will keep you going for hours.

As alluded to earlier, we’ve taken a dip into Spain’s second division and come out with a handful of throwback ballers to shock you properly.

Martin Braithwaite

Four years on from his staggering, ’emergency’ transfer to Barcelona outside of the transfer window, which left Leganes stranded without a striker in 2020, Braithwaite now finds himself at Barca’s second-tier neighbours Espanyol.

The Danish forward lived the dream for many, playing with Lionel Messi and leading the line in that iconic red and blue shirt, an outcome nobody expected from a man who managed just nine goals in 40 games for Championship side Middlesbrough.

Braithwaite joined Espanyol in 2022, but tried to leave a season later when the club were relegated from La Liga, although to no avail. Since then, he’s got his head down and is currently on 20 league goals in the 2023-24 campaign.

Keita Balde

Balde has enjoyed a strong career around Europe as well as having won the Africa Cup of Nations, but now finds himself in Spain’s second tier at 29 on loan at Espanyol.

With plenty of Serie A experience in recent years, Balde actually moved to Russia to sign for Spartak Moscow in the summer of 2022, but left on loan after just one year and has played 20 times in the league with Espanol chasing down a return to the top-flight.

Should they have the money, one would think they’d attempt to make Balde’s move a permanent one, especiall given that the Senegal international was born in Spain.


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Allan Nyom

On the books at Udinese for years without ever actually playing for the club, you are most likely to recognise Nyom from his spell in England with Watford and later West Brom, the latter of whom he spent three years with from 2016 to 2019.

The right-back is now 35 and in Spain’s second tier with Leganes, who he spent a season on loan with in 2018-19. A full-circle moment for the 18-times-capped Cameroon international, who has featured 28 times in the league this season with his side sat top of the table with just five games to play.

Kenedy

We’d love to say that Kenedy endured an exceptionally strange career, but truthfully, it was the standard for anyone brought in to be on the fringes of Chelsea’s first team – an endless cycle of loans, with the occasional route back into the fold at Stamford Bridge depending on managerial changes.

The Brazilian’s seven-year association with the Blues came to an end in 2022 after loans in England, Spain and Brazil, signing for Valladolid as a free agent, where he has remained ever since, even with their relegation.

He’s been a utility man in their push to return to the top flight – which looks likely – but goals have been hard to come by this season, with him managing just two so far. 

READ: 8 forgotten ballers we can’t believe are now playing in the 2. Bundesliga

Jurgen Locadia

Brighton have earned a reputation in football as perhaps the game’s smartest recruiters and most shrewd buyers, but if you peel back the curtain, you find a rather ugly truth.

That truth being that Locadia became their club-record signing in 2018, signing for a fee of around £14million from PSV Eindhoven, only to make just 46 appearances in four years, scoring six times and being loaned out twice before leaving.

Since then, Locadia has played in Germany, Iran and China, but returned to European football in March 2024 at the age of 30, signing for Amorebieta. They currently sit second-bottom of the league and are likely to be relegated to the regional third tier.

We’re not exactly sure where it all went wrong for the two-time Eredivisie winner.





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