Vitesse land Ecuadorian

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Vitesse Arnhem have boosted their defensive ranks with the news that Ecuador international Giovanny Espinoza has signed for the club.

The 29-year-old's move, which is subject to a medical and obtaining a Dutch work permit, comes as the Gelredome club look to add cover for the impending departure of Ruud Knol.

The former LDU Quito stopper has agreed a contract until June 2008 with the Eredivisie side and comes to Vitesse with a strong pedigree, having appeared in the last two World Cup finals for Ecuador.

Known as 'La Sombra' or 'The Shadow', Espinoza had a ban of eight more weeks hanging over him in Ecuador for his part in an on-the-pitch brawl between LDU and Barcelona de Guayaquil.

The defender's ban will not affect his move to Vitesse, and with his LDU contract due to expire in the summer, Espinoza has taken the chance to test his abilities in European football.

"It's fantastic for me that I am here," Espinoza told De Gelderlander. "I finally get the chance to play in Europe."

Vitesse manager Aad de Mos was pleased to add the imposing South American to his ranks this month.

"Espinoza is a real defender," said de Mos. "In his country, it is his job to stop a striker at any cost.

"Of course, he has to adapt to Dutch football with playing the ball around, but (the Brazilian) Alex had to do that as well at PSV."