Juan Francisco García will play the rest of this season for Ajax. The left-footed Spanish defender, better known as Juanfran, comes to Ajax on loan from Turkish side Besiktas. Ajax have also the option to buy him. With the hiring of Juanfran, Ajax hope to cover for the absence of Maxwell. The Brazilian suffered a severe knee injury at the end of last season in the cup match against Willem II and will be sidelined for an extended period.
Juanfran moved from Spain to Turkey last season. At Besiktas he played under coach Vicente del Bosque, known from his successes at Real Madrid. Del Bosque was fired midway through the season and under the new coach, Juanfran rarely saw playing time.
His transfer to Besiktas followed the relegation of Celta de Vigo, the club where the now 29-year old played for five seasons. In that period, Juanfran twice crossed the path of Ajax, during the group stages of the Champions League. In the Amsterdam ArenA Ajax won 1-0 through a goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and later in the tournament the Spanish side defeated Ajax 3-2 at home. Celta and Juanfran joined group winner AC Milan in the next round.
Before his time in northern Spain, Juanfran played two years for Valencia. He began his professional career in 1994 with Levante, then a Segunda División team. During his period at Celta de Vigo, Juanfran made the national team of Spain. He was capped eleven times, including three matches in the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan.
Late Friday afternoon, Ajax's latest acquisition signed the contract, after which he raised the glass with his agents and technical director Martin van Geel. Juanfran has been given shirt number 22.