Florin Andone's brief stint at Deportivo came to an end on Friday after it was announced that he will be off to England to join Brighton. The Galicians will certainly be sorry to see the Romania international go - he left his mark at the club for his goals and was a big hit with the fans for his tireless dedication, as well as some of the soundbites he gave to the media.
Andone's early days at Depor
Andone arrive in A Coruña two seasons ago with Gaizka Garitano in charge, and with the difficult mission of replacing Lucas Pérez who had been signed by Arsenal. He joined from second tier side Córdoba and his first words on touching down in Galicia were: “Depor have taken a chance on me, I deserve to play in the First Division".
It turned out to be his best year, he netted 12 goals and was a first team regular under Garitano and his successor Pepe Mel. In an interview with AS, after being dropped by Mel for two games, he gave an insight into his strong character: "I was born to be first choice, not to be sat on the subs' bench". A confident player, prepared to fight to earn his place - even when things were going well: “I don't see myself as Mr. Big Shot, I am the same as I have always been", he said before a key meeting against Osasuna in which Depor were battling against relegation. Several Premier League clubs came knocking for him that summer but he decided to stay.
Succession of coaches
This season, with Lucas Pérez and Adrián increasing the competition for a place in the side, he carved out a regular place in the team under Mel, who he paid back - saving the coach from getting the sack with a late winner against Getafe in Week 7. But a fortnight later, Mel's time was up and with Cristóbal Parralo taking the reins, it signalled the beginning of the end for Andone. Speaking to AS again in November last year, he said: “Now I have doubts about whether it was the right decision to stay at Deportivo". A week later he was involved in a bust-up with Alejandro Arribas and both players were set apart from the team. Things brightened up when Clarence Seedorf came in to save the team from the drop but the optimism was short-lived. In his first week, Seedorf declared: "We need to be more intense as a team, I want 11 players like Andone"; but the Romanian's role in the side diminished. His last game in the starting XI was the Week 29 meeting with Las Palmas in March. A few weeks before that, he left one last chestnut for the media, with his simple, succinct explanation of how Depor threw away a two-goal lead to Levante in a matter of minutes: “We shat ourselves".