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7

Leandro Bacuna

Midfielder

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Biography

Date of birth

21/08/1991

Height

187 cm

Signed

13/08/2017

Country

Curaçao

Curacao international Leandro Bacuna joined the Royals in the summer of 2017, penning a four-year deal as he completed a transfer from Aston Villa.

Prior to joining the Villans, Bacuna had spent four years playing Eredivisie football with hometown club FC Groningen in the north of the Netherlands after graduating from their academy in 2009. 

He made over a century of appearances for the Dutch club during his time as a professional at Noordlease Stadion, and his impressive form earned him a move to the Premier League when Aston Villa won the race for his signature in the summer of 2013.

He helped Villa to progress through the rounds in the 2014-15 FA Cup. Scoring in a win against Leicester in the fifth round, he played the full 90 in a 2-1 win against Liverpool at Wembley in the semi-final. Bacuna would feature in the FA Cup final against Arsenal from the bench, but by the time he was introduced the Gunners were well on course to a 4-0 victory.

On the international front, Bacuna played for the Netherlands at youth level, earning a total of 20 youth caps across his time spent with the Under-19s and Under-21s.

However he switched his allegiance to Curaçao in 2016 when he was called up by the island nation, from where he traces his family heritage. And despite losing on his debut to Barbados in a Caribbean Cup qualifier, he would feature regularly throughout the qualifying process as they sealed a place in the finals tournament in Martinique.

And then that June, he and his Curaçaoan countrymen lifted the trophy as unlikely victors – he played the duration in a 2-1 victory against Jamaica in the final, giving the nation of 160,000 people an unprecedented sporting triumph to enjoy! Later in a busy summer, he was also involved in their CONCACAF Gold Cup, playing against Mexico, Jamaica and El Salvador in the group stage.

Bacuna netted twice for the Royals in his maiden campaign; the first from range against Millwall in the EFL Cup, and then a point-saving penalty away in Bolton in the Championship.

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