Raúl de Tomás is registered and ready to take Rayo Vallecano to the next level

It’s not often that a club signs a player who already sits inside its top 10 all-time goalscorers list, but that is the case with Raúl de Tomás’ return to Rayo Vallecano. The Madrid native rejoined the club from Vallecas in September and, after a few months on the sidelines, the start of the January transfer window means he has been officially registered and is now preparing to make his re-debut against Real Betis on Sunday, January 8th.

The forward, known by his initials R.D.T., has already scored 38 goals in 66 appearances for Los Franjirrojos, which means he is currently 10th on the club’s all-time list for the most goals scored. Míchel and Potele’s joint-record of 67 goals is absolutely within his reach.

It was back in the summer of 2017 that a then-22-year-old De Tomás first made the move to Vallecas, joining on loan from Real Madrid after 13 years working his way through the various categories in Los Blancos’ youth academy. He had already debuted for the Real Madrid first team by this stage in his career, under Carlo Ancelotti, and had been on loan with Córdoba CF and Real Valladolid. The plan was for the striker to earn even more experience at LaLiga SmartBank level in the 2017/18 season.

And, it was quite an experience, as Rayo Vallecano won the 2017/18 LaLiga SmartBank championship, with R.D.T. scoring 24 goals to finish as the second-top scorer of the entire division, only behind Real Valladolid’s Jaime Mata.

So impressed were the Rayo Vallecano directors that they fought to secure another loan deal for the 2018/19 season, when the Madrid club would compete at LaLiga Santander level. De Tomás took this step up in his stride and netted another 14 league goals that year, including a memorable hat-trick in a 4-2 victory over RC Celta. Although Rayo suffered relegation that campaign, the striker stood out on an individual level, finishing in the top 10 of that year’s Pichichi table.

It was then that he made his first move abroad, as Real Madrid sold the striker’s rights to Portuguese side Benfica, but R.D.T. was soon back in Spanish football as he joined RCD Espanyol. There, at the Catalan club, he won LaLiga SmartBank for the second time in his career in 2020/21 and this time he did so winning the Pichichi award too, even though his tally of 23 goals was actually one fewer than the amount he managed when he was the division’s second-top scorer in 2017/18.

Again, the step up to LaLiga Santander level didn’t faze him at all, as he bagged 17 goals in LaLiga Santander for RCD Espanyol in 2021/22, with his clinical performances even earning him the first four appearances for the Spanish national team of his career.

In the summer of 2022, he and RCD Espanyol decided to part ways and a romantic return to Rayo materialised. The deal was concluded after the summer transfer window, though, so R.D.T. had to wait to make his re-debut with the capital city club.

In the meantime, he trained hard and improved his physical condition, doing a lot of boxing and meditation. Having hired a personal trainer, the striker takes his physical conditioning seriously and will be ready to hit the ground running when Andoni Iraola gives him his re-debut for Rayo Vallecano.

With Los Franjirrojos already in the top half of the LaLiga Santander table, they hope that the addition of one of the league’s best strikers, to join the veteran Radamel Falcao and the rising star Sergio Camello, will take the team to the next level and allow for a push for European qualification.

MG Team

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