Forward | Extramadura UD | Ecauador
At first glance Billy Arce could be mistaken for Neymar thanks to his bold and questionably fashionable South American style haircut, but that’s where the similarities end.
Arce has pace, attacking intent and vision but does lack the flair to put him anywhere near the same league as Neymar right now - although he is rated as one of the brightest prospects to come out of Ecuador for some time.
He has only been playing first team football since 2017 so his journey to Europe is an impressive one, but a lack of physicality does let him down and may prevent him from fulfilling his potential.
2018 has been…
A good season with Independiente del Valle in Ecuador’s Serie A Primera Etapa earned Arce a relatively surprising move to Brighton, before being shipped immediately out on loan to Spanish La Liga 2 outfit Extramadura.
I’ve said premature because since arriving in Europe he’s only played 120 minutes of football, managing just three league appearances off the bench in Spain, and has been an unused substitute on three occasions. He has been left out of the match day squad more than he has been in it, which is alarming.
Arce said before joining Brighton that he “did not imagine in such a short time I would be able to play in Europe,” and that suggests even he didn’t think he was quite ready for the move.
Brighton said after announcing Arce’s arrival on a four-year deal that they would they would be closely monitoring his progress at Extramadura, so they will have been disappointed to see that he has made absolutely no progress at all. News from Spain claims he has left the club permanently, with a number of clubs in Ecuador vying for his services.
He must either show Brighton he is capable of playing in Europe or seek a loan move to a club that can truly showcase his ability. No one knows just what happened to him in Spain, perhaps it was a move too soon for him, but 2019 must be the year in which he proves he’s good enough.
Recent reports suggesting he could return to Ecuador may just be the ticket for Arce to return to familiar surroundings and work on his game more before trying in Europe again later down the line.