THE ARRIVAL of Esteban Félix Granero Molina from Real Madrid represents yet another significant coup for R's boss Mark Hughes.
The 25 year-old midfielder, who joined Madrid as an eight year-old, arrives at Loftus Road just months after helping Real win the La Liga title.
After coming through the ranks at the Santiago Bernabéu, Granero made the step up to Madrid's C squad at the age of 17, standing out for his talent and passing skills, and going on to receive the Números 1 Don Balón award as the 'Most Valuable Player' of the fourth division Group 7 in 2005/06.
Granero – who is also known as El Pirata (the pirate) in Spain owing to his outlandish hairstyle– spent the 2008/09 campaign on loan at Getafe - also based in Madrid - making 27 appearances and scoring three goals.
At the end of the season, which included a run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, Granero returned to Madrid.
However, Getafe came back in for the midfielder in July 2008, with Granero penning a permanent deal. Under the terms of the deal, Madrid agreed a re-buy option, which after making 35 appearances and scoring five goals in the 2008/09 season, was exercised in July 2009 in a deal reported to be worth four million euros.
Granero's first Madrid goal at senior level arrived in the opening game of the 2009/10 season away at Espanyol, and he went on to make 31 appearances in La Liga.
The arrivals of Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil in 2010 restricted his starts the following season, but Granero was still a valuable squad player, scoring a crucial goal from the bench in a 1-1 draw versus Almería, as well as playing his part in their Copa del Rey triumph over Barcelona.
Last season, Granero played a vital role in the Madrid squad that clinched the La Liga title. He made 17 La Liga appearances, as Jose Mourinho's side saw off the threat of Barcelona to win their first league crown in four years.