A busy deadline day and Spanish Dave

Albion had a deadline day to remember ten years ago today.

By Charlie Hanson • 01 September 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
David Lopez and Andrea Orlandi joined the club on the same day.

The magic of transfer deadline day seemed to be at its peak during the 2010s when social media was in its infancy, although until you saw a Sky Sports camera filming a new signing at a club’s training ground you didn’t know who to believe.

Consigned to the history books alongside that is the excitement some clubs would generate on deadline day as they bolstered their ranks with a degree of panic as the deadline approached.

Albion had their own experience of that when Andrea Orlandi and David Lopez joined on 31 August 2012, alongside Stephen Dobbie and Dean Hammond to complete what was a hectic final day of the transfer window.

Andrea and David, or ‘Spanish Dave’ as he became popularly known by the fans, joined a growing Spanish contingent at the club, as we had signed Bruno earlier on in that window while Inigo Calderon and Vicente were already on the books.

By Pete Gawlick
Andrea Orlandi scored seven league goals in his first season with Albion.

For Andrea it was a day of mixed emotions, as he arrived after a long spell with Swansea City.

“I was leaving Swansea after five years so that was emotional for me, but I was also the happiest man in the world because I was joining the club I wanted to join,” he recalls. “I knew I was going to be playing alongside Calde [Inigo Calderon] again, who is a dear friend.

“I knew about the Amex, the ambitions, the way they wanted to do things. I travelled with the team that deadline day as we were playing Burnley the following day, I made my debut and got an assist. So it was special.

By Paul Hazlewood
Andrea Orlandi, David Lopez and Andrew Crofts joined on deadline day in summer 2012.

“I remember the club saying ‘we’ve been offered David Lopez, what would you do?’ and I said ‘sign him!’ I knew Bruno, who was supportive from the moment I arrived, and I knew of Vicente of course because he was a legend in football although I didn’t know him personally. He was an inspiration.

“It was great to play alongside the Spanish and British guys, it was a very good dressing room.”

Orlandi would go onto have a brilliant first campaign for us, scoring seven times in 35 Championship appearances while Spanish Dave also won over Albion hearts with his skills.

That connection was as strong off the pitch and the Spanish lads still speak now.

“We still have a group on WhatsApp where we chat. Leo Ulloa [who joined Albion in January 2013] is in there. He’s Argentinian, but he’s one of us. David Rodriguez is in there as well. We were very close during our time at Brighton.”