Former Newcastle United striker Xisco has signed with Thai club Muang Thong United as they look for the firepower to help them clinch the Premier League of Thailand (PLT) title for the first time since 2012.
The move was confirmed on the club's social media pages ahead of Saturday evening's game at home to Navy FC. If fit, he may make his debut in the big match against reigning champions Buriram United on July 24.
He's the second ex-Premier League forward to relocate to Thailand this month after ex-Liverpool man Florent Sinama Pongolle agreed terms with Chainat FC on July 3.
The 30-year-old Spaniard, who left Newcastle in 2013, moves from Cordoba in Spain's Segunda Division, where he scored 11 times in the 2015-16 league campaign as his club finished in fifth spot. He scored all three goals for Cordoba over two legs of a promotion playoff semifinal against Girona, but his side lost 4-3 on aggregate.
Xisco may have his work cut out finding a starting spot with the Kirins as they already boast a wealth of attacking talent in Chanathip Songkrasin, Teerasil Dangda, Cleiton Silva, Adisak Kraisorn and Michael N'Dri. He will play alongside another former Spain Under-21 international in defender Mario Abrante.
- Muangthong United FC (@MuangthongUtd) July 16, 2016
Muang Thong fans will be hoping that Xisco can help take their side over the line in the title race, something that two other high profile signings failed to do. Neither Robbie Fowler not Roland Linz found their best form in Thailand following moves on the wrong side of 30. Xisco passed the milestone just last month and will hope to find a new lease of life in Southeast Asia by becoming a champion by the end of the year.
The attacker featured prominently in Cordoba's promotion winning season in 2013-14 but did not get much game time in La Liga -- he scored just once -- and was eventually loaned out to Mallorca, as his team went straight back down to the second tier. He regained a regular starting spot for Cordoba following their relegation.
Xisco's time in England was not as successful and he played just 11 times for Newcastle during his four-and-a-half years on Tyneside. He was arguably an unfortunate victim during another turbulent spell at the Northeast club.
Just after director of football Dennis Wise brought Xisco to Newcastle in 2008 -- he signed along with Uruguayan Nacho Gonzalez -- Kevin Keegan resigned as manager in protest at his lack of control over transfers. As fans demonstrated against club owner Mike Ashley, and the equally unpopular Wise, Xisco scored on his debut but the game ended in 2-1 home defeat to Hull City.
But it was to be his only league goal and his performances soon dipped, leading to loan spells back in Spain at Racing Santander and former club Deportivo La Coruna.
Xisco played under five managers at Newcastle and Alan Pardew was in charge when he left the club. In 2012, Pardew said, "For the first time since I have been here, he has shown signs of life," following a hat trick for their Under-21 side against Stoke City. Xisco was 26 at the time and playing as on overage player but the comment from his manager was damning and three months later, his contract was terminated, freeing him to join Cordoba.
While he may not have been a success in England, his scoring record in Spain is solid, suggesting that he should have something to offer in Thailand. He also won 11 caps with the Spanish Under-21 side at the time when the country's senior team was about to rule the world.