Mexican national team player Diego Lainez is joining Portuguese side Sporting Club Braga on loan from Real Betis.
Lainez did not see much time with the La Liga team after arriving in 2019 from Liga MX’s Club America. He initially signed a five-year contract with the Spanish giants, making him the youngest player to emigrate from the Mexican league and the second most expensive transfer at $14m.
But despite the willingness from Betis to bring Lainez over, he barely saw any time on the pitch. He managed four goals and six assists in 72 appearances over three years, before securing the loan to Braga.
“I am very happy and excited to join a team that has clear goals. Being at SC Braga is something I’ve wanted for a long time. I’m happy because I’m where I want to be,” Lainez told Braga’s club site.
“SC Braga is an ambitious Club and I was delighted. The truth is that I identified with the goals and ambitions that were presented to me. That was very important in this decision to choose SC Braga.
"Many Mexican players have played in Portugal and they did very well. It's a motivation for me to be able to get on this list. I'm very happy and I'm going to give it my all because that's what I came here for.”
The move secures Lainez vital time on the pitch as he continues to fight for a spot on Mexico’s 26-player roster for the World Cup, something he took into consideration when signing for Braga.
He added, “We are in the year of the World Cup and it is a very important year for me and for my country. I want to be in the World Cup and I hope to fulfill that objective as a SC Braga player.”
It became clear that Lainez could not achieve the routine playing time with Betis. He saw his last start with the team on January 2, before being left out of the game day squad entirely on seven different occasions.
Braga, on the other hand, gives him the platform to get back into shape. The team finished fourth in the Primeira Liga in 2021-22, and lifted the Taça de Portugal to secure them a spot in this year’s Europa League group stage.
Under head coach Artur Jorge, Lainez may no longer be an untapped potential.