The view from Spain: Experts deliver verdict on reported new Leeds signing Pedraza
By Matt Farr
Media experts from Spain have hailed the talents of Villarreal winger Alfonso Pedraza, who is reportedly on the brink of signing for Leeds in a loan-to-buy deal.
Spanish news outlet AS claim that the 20-year-old is set to cut short his loan spell at CD Lugo to move to Elland Road until the end of the season, with an option for the club to buy him on a permanent basis for £8.5million.
Many members of the Elland Road faithful have admitted that they have not heard much about their pending midfield arrival, although they believe they must be acquiring a top talent if Garry Monk is potentially prepared to splash out as much as £8.5million for him.
But they can also be reassured by the reports in the Spanish media, who have followed Pedraza’s meteoric rise through the ranks in Spain to become one of the nation’s brightest young talents.
Cordoba’s daily news outlet Cordopolis last month labelled Pedraza as one of the “revelations” of the Segunda Division, describing him as a player with “great physical power” and a “great shot.”
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With six goals and eight assists for Lugo this season, the Spain U21 international certainly does have an undeniable attacking talent.
With his career at the Segunda Division side set to come to an abrupt end, he will be a great loss to Luis Cesar Sampedro’s side, with several of his teammates paying tribute to his talents.
26-year-old defender Carlos Hernandez told Marca’s Carlos Gegundez earlier this month of Pedraza’s hard-working ethic, liking him to a “pitbull”.
He said: “Since the coach told him that he had to work more defensively, Pedraza has grown up, worked on his defending, like a pitbull. You know that even if it is not quite right, he will give everything.”
That’s an asset that will serve him well in the bruising environment of the Championship.
Spanish journalist Marcos Lorenzo Maroto in Capital Deporte, meanwhile, branded him as “burly” and “powerful”, as well as highlighting his height and other technical qualities. Pedraza stands at 6ft tall, which is a bigger physical presence than several of Leeds’ current attackers.
Maroto also said that the player links up well with his teammates and has a great shot with his left foot.
The transfer could well provide Garry Monk with the final piece in the puzzle as he seeks to fire Leeds back into the Premier League for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
As for the Leeds fans, after seeing the praise in the Spanish media, they will be now appear a little more confident in the hope that Pedraza can turn out more like Harry Kewell than Filipe da Costa.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club are reportedly after this Premier League winger.