The Mexican midfielder of Betis Diego Lainez made his debut this season in the Europa League match against the German Bayer Leverkusen (1-1) after two and a half months of recovery from the ankle injury that occurred with the selection of his country in the Tokyo Olympics on August 6.
In that match for the Olympic bronze between Mexico and Japan, which ended in a 3-1 victory for El Tri, Lainez suffered a double ankle sprain that kept him in the dry dock until Thursday night, when the Villahermosa midfielder jumped to the pitch of Villamarin after the break in substitution of the Betico captain, Joaquin Sanchez.
The Mexican midfielder was already summoned by the Chilean coach of Betis, Manuel Pellegrini, on September 28 for the Europa League match against the Hungarian Ferencvaros and, later, for the league duels against Villarreal and Alaves, although it was not until yesterday when it premiered this season with the verdiblanca.
His feelings were good in a match in which, in addition, Betis had the support of 40,000 fans at Villamarin, who began winning with a penalty goal from Borja Iglesias and finally equalized with a goal from Robert Andrich after a rebound in the Portuguese William Carvalho.
“It was very nice after two months without playing a game. Soccer-wise I felt good because I had been out for a while, but everything went well,” said the midfielder from Tabasco, also grateful for the reception from Villamarin on his return and happy for the return although a point disappointed by the final result.
Lainez, 21, thus takes an important step to enter into Pellegrini’s plans, who highlighted the player’s return and that his presence gave them “danger” against the German team, although he pointed out that “perhaps it was diluted little by little” because “it had been a long time without active football”.
“He’s always an alternative”, added the Santiago coach of a player who thus joins, after a time in which he had already overcome the injury and had been training normally with the rest of his teammates, to the many Betic alternatives in midfielder area.
In addition to Joaquin, whom he replaced on the European night against Bayer, Pellegrini has players like Rodrigo Sanchez, Rodri, Juanmi, Cristian Tello or Aitor Ruibal in the hooking area and on the flanks, as well as franchise footballers such as Sergio Canales and the French international Nabil Fekir.
The tight Betico calendar, with games every three days, has made Pellegrini pull the manual and involve all the members of his squad with a rotation policy that, surely, will make the Mexican have minutes and starts from Now that you’ve stepped on the grass.
With almost no time for more to recover, Betis already faces today the preparation of the double league commitment at the Benito Villamarin, next Sunday against Rayo Vallecano and on Wednesday in a weekday against Valencia before visiting the next October 31 at Atletico de Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Diego Lainez, who signed for Betis until 2024 in January 2019 in an operation in which the Verdiblanco team paid some fifteen million dollars to America de Mexico, played a total of 21 games last season, eight of them as a starter.

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