For Leeds United fans, there has always been this urge to climb back to where they feel they rightly belong – the bright lights of the Premier League. Last year threatened to turn that to reality; other years have failed to deliver that.
Under previous regimes, typified by Massimo Cellino’s reign, players came and went in veritable droves. In those days, loan-in was a strategy that was heavily used, and it continues to be that way today – albeit for different reasons.
One player that was brought in by the Whites on a temporary deal, linked to an option to buy if promoted, was Spanish left-wing Alfonso Pedraza. He came in towards the end of the winter transfer window, first appearing for the Whites in a 2-1 loss to Huddersfield Town.
He went on to feature 14 times for Leeds United as they struggled for consistency at the end of their 2016/17 campaign under Garry Monk. He scored his only goal for the West Yorkshire outfit in a 3-1 win over Birmingham City at St Andrews. However, promotion then slipped away and he returned to his native Spain.
Last season he played for Villareal, featuring in 34 LaLiga games (three goals/four assists) and a further eight games (one goal) in the Europa League run to the quarter-finals. It is this form that has seen him readying to make a big-money move.
Real Betis are poised to complete the signing of former #LUFC loanee Alfonso Pedraza on loan with an option to buy,
Initial deal will be for €1m, with permanent fee to be set at a further €15m [Marca].
— James Marshment (@marshyleeds) July 16, 2019
Real Betis finished last season in 10th position in LaLiga, rounding off a so-so campaign with a 2-0 win against Spanish giants Real Madrid. It will be a step-up for Pedraza who will be remembered fondly for his whirlwind 14 game spell at Elland Road.