Chennaiyin FC announced the signing of Spanish-born Italian midfielder, Andrea Orlandi for the upcoming season. He has joined for a free transfer from the Serie B side Novara.

Orlandi, who is 34-years-old, has played for the Spanish giants Barcelona early on in his career, and this his first venture of playing in not only India but Asia as well. He is a left-footed player, and adept at taking set-pieces. This makes him an influential player for Chennaiyin and he is expected to dawn the Number 10 jersey for the team.

“I am really excited to come to India and play for the champions. I am close friends with Calde and as a result, I did watch quite a bit of Chennaiyin last season. What Calde said about the bond in the dressing room and the positive atmosphere surrounding the entire club helped me make the decision to move. I’ve also had a good chat with John (Gregory) and I am looking forward to giving my 100% in helping the team retain the ISL title,” he told the media at the event of his official signing for Chennaiying FC.

His new coach, John Gregory has also has rated the midfielder highly, and said, “In Andrea (Orlandi), we have a top-class professional with not just tremendous work ethic but also a vibrant personality. I know him very well from his playing career in England. An addition like him gives our squad more depth and creativity as we look to defend the title.”

He will be joining a former teammate in Inigo Calderon, who plays in the right-back position. The duo played together for two teams in Brighton & Hove Albion as well as Spanish side Alaves. Entering the twilight years of his career, Orlandi will be eyeing immediate success and winning trophies to finish an illustrious career.