Leeds United: Who is Alfonso Pedraza?

LEEDS-BOUND: Winger Alfonso Pedraza, in action with Spain's Under-21s.
LEEDS-BOUND: Winger Alfonso Pedraza, in action with Spain's Under-21s.
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ALFONSO Pedraza is poised to sign for Leeds United from Villarreal and become the club’s first capture on transfer deadline day. But who exactly is Alfonso Pedraza?

Exciting Villareal youth product

Born in San Sebastián de los Ballesteros in Cordoba, Pedraza joined Villareal’s youth set up as a 15-year-old in 2011. After playing for The Yellow Submarine’s C and B teams, the winger made his Villareal first team debut away at Valencia in La Liga in April 2015. The Spaniard made another four appearances for Villareal’s first team - including at Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League - before joining Segunda División side CD Lugo on loan last August. In 22 appearances for Lugo the Spaniard scored six times and made eight assists. That loan spell was cut short by Villarreal to allow Pedraza to join Leeds. Pedraza is still only 20 and will not turn 21 until April 9.

Pacy, tall and left footed

Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague describes Pedraza as “fast, very good with his positioning and works hard without the ball.”

“He is one of those players who loves one-on-ones, which you don’t see too often,” says Balague.

“He is quick, has ability and it is a clever signing for Leeds. If he adapts to life and football in the Championship he could be a very good addition.”

Pedraza should have the physique to deal with the rough and tumble of the Championship as he is also six-foot-tall. Pedraza is also left-footed and would likely play on the left wing for Leeds - or as an option upfront.

European champion

Pedraza has gained two caps for Spain’s under-21s but also seven caps for his country’s under-19s, whom he helped win the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2015. In seven appearances for Spain’s under-19s the winger has scored three goals. He could now be included in his country’s squad for this year’s Under-21s Euros.

Expensive

Pedraza is set to join Leeds on loan until the end of the season with a view to signing permanently in the summer if the Whites win promotion to the Premier League. But the fee for Pedraza is rumoured to be around 10 million euros or £8.5m.

In demand

Newcastle United, Real Sociedad and Sporting Gijon were all keen on signing Pedraza this month but Everton were also chasing his signature in the summer.

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