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Cristian Lema returns to Newell’s on loan

Cristian Lema returns to Newell’s on loan

The commanding centre-back was outstanding for La Lepra in 2019 before leaving for Saudi Arabia

Newell’s Old Boys have secured the signing of Cristian Lema on loan from the Saudi Arabian side Damac. It will be the 30-year-old’s third spell at Newell’s.

While on loan from Benfica at Newell’s in 2019, Lema was the club’s best performer, scoring 5 goals in 22 appearances, including a goal in the Clásico Rosarino and a brace against Huracán in September 2019.

When his loan ended in 2020, Newell’s attempted to purchase him from Benfica but it was Damac of Saudi Arabia who won his signature and he moved to the Middle East.

Newell’s suffered without his presence and the rojinegro‘s defence was notably weaker in the Copa Diego Maradona competition in late 2020.

Luckily for Newell’s, his time in Saudi has been miserable. He received a red card on his debut and his side continue to struggle, sitting second from bottom in the Saudi Premier League.

Damac have now decided he can leave temporarily to return to his home country and despite interest from Independiente, his first choice was Newell’s, where he knows most of the squad and has a good relationship with manager Frank Kudelka.

The charge for the loan, which ends on 31 December 2021, is $200,000.

It’s a huge result for Newell’s to reacquire the services of Lema just four months after he left.

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