It was a loan deal out of the blue when it emerged that Villareal’s young Spain U-21 winger Alfonso Pedraza was on his way to Elland Road on a half-season loan.
There was no advance warning, no leaked rumours, nothing – well nothing until the very last minute. Then appeared the name Alfonso Pedraza and suddenly Google started to light up with the number of keystrokes going off the scale as Leeds United fans did quick Internet searches. Similar ‘spikes’ were seen on YouTube, where Leeds fans headed to catch a glimpse of their new inbound player.
What they found was that Pedraza was a 20-year-old, two-cap Spanish Under-21 international. The move was from La Liga side Villareal, who agreed a loan severance agreement of €300,000 to CD Lugo to whom he was on loan to for the season. The half-season loan to Leeds United came on the understanding that promotion to the Premier League would kick in an automatic purchase option in the region of €10 million.
Whilst on loan at Galician side Lugo, the young Spaniard, who can play across the front three positions, made 22 La Liga 2 appearances, scoring six times and setting up a further eight assists.
However, the way the deal came about has met with a deal of condemnation from CD Lugo president Tino Saqués, who comments in Spanish publication La Vanguardia. The president of the Galician side said that he was not happy that they were kept in the dark over a deal that he said would have not been a last-minute communication between Villareal and Leeds.
Saqués said of this: “We understand that a negotiation of that draft with an English club would take seven or ten days to be sure and would have to be communicated to Lugo to be able to sign a substitute if we understood it necessary.”
President Saqués said that there was a distinct lack of communication that was a detriment to CD Lugo insisting that: “When two parties reach a compromise for the transfer of a player, they have to communicate. What can not be is that three days before we are told: gentlemen, this boy is going to Leeds.”
Pedraza has played twice for Leeds United, making his début off the bench in the 2-1 loss to local rivals Huddersfield Town and then starting the game on the left-wing in the 2-0 home loss to Cardiff City.