Livingston sign Dominican Republic international defender Luiyi de Lucas
The 28-year-old joins from FC Haka in the top flight of Finnish football on an 18-month deal with the option for a further year after impressing on trial.
The 6ft 4in stopper while provide cover and competition for places this season. He’ll have the opportunity to prove he’s a worthy successor with Livingston expected to see a centre-back or two depart in the summer transfer window.
First-choice centre-backs Ayo Obileye and Jake Fitzwater are both out of contract. The latter has courted interest from down south over the past year. Back up Tom Parkes also sees his deal expire at the end of the campaign.
De Lucas has made eight international appearances for his country amid a playing career mostly spent in the lower leagues of Spain, where he holds citizenship.
Manager David Martindale said: “I’m delighted to bring Luiyi into the building. It’s no secret that we’re probably going to lose at least one central defender at the club in the summer so I felt it was important to get one in which allows the player time to adapt to the league and the club.
“Luiyi was in training with me last season and done okay but I felt he needed more competitive football at a good level. He went out and got that with FC Haka in Finland.
“He came back in on trial in November after a successful season with FC Haka and I could already see the improvement in his game so I’m really happy to get him over the line and he’s a player that I am sure will prove his worth to the squad in the coming months.”
De Lucas becomes Livingston’s second signing of the January transfer window. The West Lothian side previously agreed a deal to sign Steven Bradley from Hibs on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
Martindale said earlier in the season that it was going to be a struggle this window due to some of his budget being taken up by the cost of VAR, but the Livi boss has managed to get a couple of deals over the line as they chase European football.