Pleguezuelo's First Interview
Minutes after signing his contract to join Argyle, Julio Pleguezuelo acknowledged the question he knew he would be asked.
“Call me Pleggy,” he said, smiling.
If he is as comfortable on the ball as he was with his first interview, then he – and we – will be just fine. Julio – sorry, we mean Pleggy – cut a composed figure, sitting down with Charlie Price on Argyle TV, and quickly showing that he knows all about one of the key features of Argyle.
“The research that I've done about the club [tells me] that the Green Army is very well known,” he said. “I didn't realise how big it is until I saw it myself in videos and highlights on YouTube. I was very surprised how good it is. I'll be honest - I can't wait to play in front of them.
“I am absolutely buzzing to be joining Argyle. I am so happy that it’s turned out this way. Everything happened very fast in the last couple of days.
“All I have is happiness right now inside of me. I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
In truth, it is not long since he finished. Pleguezuelo signed for Argyle just 10 days after featuring for FC Twente as they won an end-of-season play-off to secure a spot in next season’s Europa Conference League.
It was the conclusion to a fourth season in the Netherlands for the 26-year-old Spanish defender, but his decision to come to England is simply a move to a country he thinks of as home. Julio has two sons with his English partner and says that his six years at Arsenal, between the ages of 16 and 22, was the making of him.
“My life is in England,” he said, "and that's why I decided to make the step to come back to England. I love the football; I love the passion; I love how people live for football in England. Plus, I'm closer to my family, which is also a very important part of my life.
“During my time at Arsenal, that is where I grew the most. I spent six years there. I managed to grow my family and progress as a football player. They basically formed me to the player I am today, and I will forever be grateful.
“It was a very nice four years of my life [in the Netherlands], in terms of career and personally. I had a lovely time out there. I'm very happy and proud of how I've seen the club grow from when I went there. Two consecutive seasons qualifying for European football is very important. I'm very happy and proud to have been part of the process.
“It was a bit of a difficult season for me as well. I didn’t start playing at the beginning. We had three very good central defenders; I just waited for my chance. Once I got in, I stayed in the team all the way to the end. I helped them with a couple of goals and good performances. That's what I was asked to do, and I delivered it.”
His next challenge to deliver some more of the same for Argyle. Fortunately, he feels like both club and player are united in their ambitions and is anxious to pull on the green shirt, following his conversations with Argyle manager Steven Schumacher.
“I had a lovely chat with Steven,” Pleggy said. “He made me feel very, very important on the role that I can play for the team. That's the main reason why I chose to come, because I have the feeling that I can play a big part. The club has a vision; the way they are organising everything – all the arrows are pointing me to make this step.
“I'm a very passionate player. I live football to the fullest. A lot of tackles, a lot of energy in the pitch. I’m comfortable on the ball.
“I have goals and dreams in my career. I think my goals and dreams are aligning with the ones from the club. I think we can be good company for each other, to keep growing and keep pushing. And raising the level of course.
“I can't wait to get started. I think the moment that I'm most looking forward to trying to score a goal at Home Park. That's going to be a very, very good moment.”
You can watch the whole interview right now on Argyle TV.