Jorge De Frutos, the impact of the best assistant

Jorge De Frutos, during the Levante-Real Sociedad.

Without the negative impact of the pandemic, the Faustino Bar in Navares de Enmedio (Segovia) would have the bar full with its specialties and the refrigerators full for the neighbors to meet in the premises in front of the television. On the screen, his most illustrious neighbor, Jorge De Frutos, the Levante player who will face Athletic this Thursday in the semifinals of the Cup (21.00, Four / DAZN). 470 kilometers away, the Maritime District of València, where the Granota club has its roots, and Navares de Enmedio are emotionally connected by the figure of De Frutos. At number 5, Calle de la Iglesia, the player’s parents, Faustino and María Jesús, run the only bar in town where the inhabitants sit expectantly, when health and curfew allow it, to see one of the the sensations of LaLiga.

De Frutos is the pride of this small town of just 100 inhabitants, near Sepúlveda. “His parents live here. Apart from Real Madrid or Atlético, the residents have already become fans of Levante ”, says Lara Fernández, an administrative assistant who, from her job at the town hall, answers the phone call from EL PAÍS. “De Frutos is a friend of my nephew. A good boy, polite and kind. A pride for the people ”, he adds.

The Segovian winger arrived at the Ciutat de València this summer from Real Madrid. Levante paid two million euros fixed for 50% of its rights, which could increase by half a million more if the winger reaches a series of variables this course. He signed for five years.

The Granota technical secretariat, financially limited by the pandemic and the stadium works, looked at the potential of the 23-year-old attacking midfielder captured in 2018 by Madrid for Castilla at Rayo Majadahonda. Last year, the player spent half a season on loan at Valladolid, where he did not play, and the other half at Rayo Vallecano, where he was the protagonist.

His overflow and speed fit the profile that Paco López was looking for to reinforce his right flank in attack after the Portuguese Hernani fiasco. In the preseason duels he already showed talent and ability to attack spaces, but his shouting appearance in the eleven, programmed step by step by Silla’s coach, did not come until the team began to suffer casualties. Without Rochina, Campaña and Bardhi, De Frutos began to accumulate more minutes. He has 20 games in LaLiga, eight as a starter and 1,000 minutes overall for the season. Two goals, he scored against Getafe and Real Sociedad, although his statistics classify him as the best passer in the competition with six assists, the same as contrasted players such as Iago Aspas, Marcos Llorente and Correa, although with fewer minutes played.

There is an action that defines it. Against Valladolid, in the tie at two on matchday 20, the Segovian received on the right and turned on his powerful lower body. Her career tried to tackle Bruno, but could not bring him down. And De Frutos, attracting up to three opponents, reached the top of the area and from there he assisted Dani Gómez, who scored. Seconds later he asked for the change after damaging his hamstrings. He was two games away, and returned to Granada last Saturday just as he had left. He entered in the 64th minute and two later he ran into a drive to give Morales a goal. In San Mamés, in a huge game for his club, with his entire town pending, De Frutos wants to propel Levante towards a milestone.