MADRID (Reuters) - Once the next great hope of Spanish football, former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic has returned to La Liga for the first time since 2011 by signing on loan for Alaves from Stoke City, the Basque side said on Thursday.
Bojan succeeded Lionel Messi as the youngest player to appear for Barcelona when he made his debut, aged 17 years and 19 days, in 2007 and soon became the club’s youngest goalscorer in a Liga game when he found the net in a win over Villarreal.
But after an initially successful spell in the Premier League at Stoke, the injury-hit striker has now been farmed out on loan for the second time in less than a year.
“Deportivo Alaves have sealed the arrival of Bojan Krkic, a talented and able striker with experience in the best leagues in the world and with renowned attacking capacity,” said a statement on Alaves’s official website (www.deportivoalaves.com)
Born in Barcelona to Serbian parents, Bojan made his first and only Spain appearance in a World Cup qualifier against Armenia in 2008.
He made 104 Liga appearances for Barca and won three titles and two Champions Leagues before leaving for AS Roma in 2011 for a reported 12 million euros, joining up with Spanish coach and Barca great Luis Enrique.
He was loaned out to AC Milan a year later, which was followed by another unsuccessful loan spell at Ajax Amsterdam before a permanent move to Stoke in 2014.
A promising first few months in England were rudely brought to a halt by a serious knee injury in January 2015 which ruled him out for the remainder of his first season and shaped his time at the Premier League side.
He was loaned to Mainz 05 last January and in April became the first Spaniard to score in the Bundesliga, Premier League, Liga and Serie A when he netted against Bayern Munich.
Reporting by Richard Martin,; Editing by Neville Dalton