Big boost for Stoke City midfielder as return to action gets green light

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has handed La Liga the green light for the planned resumption of the 2019/20 season from June.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has spoken publicly about the wish to get Spain’s top-flight back in motion from June 12th and that path has now been paved, with the government approving a return from June 8.

“Spain has done what it should and now new horizons are opening for everyone. The time has come to bring back many day-to-day activities. From 8 June, La Liga will be back,” he said.

That is good news for Stoke City midfielder Peter Etebo, who has been on loan at high-flying Getafe since January, hoping for a permanent switch.

The Nigeria international, aged 24, has only been able to make four starts and the resumption could be career-changing.

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Crucially, the second-tier of Spanish football is also due to return at the same time as the top-flight, which will be a considerable boost for England’s own plans to return.

The Premier League and the Championship are both keen for the 2019/20 season to be completed behind closed doors, taking encouragement from the Bundesliga’s successful return last week.

Germany’s top-tier became the first of Europe’s top-five leagues to return following the coronavirus crisis, with Spain now set to follow in their footsteps.

In Italy, the plan for Serie A to return in mid-June has proposed and the Premier League has also identified similar dates for their own Project Restart.

However, there are still some hurdles to overcome as the second stage of return to training protocol needs to be approved by the government and by clubs, which would allow for contact sessions to take place.

Currently, the protocols allow for a maximum group size of five and contact is not allowed, with strict restrictions in place to implement social distancing.

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