Leeds United

Five players Leeds United must watch against UD Las Palmas

Leeds United round off their pre-season friendly programme against La Liga 2 side UD Las Palmas on Sunday.

The Spanish side were relegated from La Liga last season, suffering a somewhat miserable campaign that returned just 22 points across their 38 games. Relegated as the next-to-bottom side, they arrive at Elland Road on the back of away form that returned just five points last season.

In one way, it will be a good test of Leeds United’s capabilities and will likely see Marcelo Bielsa field his preferred XI that will form the backbone of the first team squad that will contest the 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

Here’s five players who Leeds United need to watch out for

1. Rafa Mir (striker on loan from Wolves): Mir was being pursued by none other than Real Madrid before Wolves stepped in and paid Valencia £1.8 million for their B-side striker. He was a regular scorer in the lower leagues for Valencia’s B-side, scoring 24 goals in 53 2ª B Grupo III games. He also scored 6 times and provided 3 assists in the UEFA Youth League. His time at Wolves saw him make just four appearances: two in the Championship (29 minutes) and two in the FA Cup (77 minutes). He also featured once for the Under-23s in the Premier League 2 competition, playing 58 minutes against Aston Villa in a 6-1 loss.

2. Sergio Araujo (striker): Araujo started his football career at renowned Argentine side Boca Juniors, a spell that also included a loan over in Spain with Barcelona where he featured 37 times for their B side (seven goals/four assists). The 26-year-old Argentinian spent last season away from the club on loan in the Greek Super League with AEK Athens. In 32 Super League games for AEK, Araujo hit 15 goals and provided six assists. He has also played and scored in Spain’s La Primera and La Segunda divisions with 43 games (seven goals) and 73 games (30 goals) respectively.

3. Tana (attacking midfield): Tana signed for UD Las Palmas from Spanish lower league side UD Vecindario who currently play in the 3ª Grupo XII. The attacking midfielder has featured 83 times in La Liga, scoring 10 times and providing 10 assists. He has also featured 25 times in La Liga 2, scoring two times and providing one assist. He was consistent, not spectacular, last season scoring and assisting his only contributions of the season in consecutive matches against Real Sociedad and Real Betis. The season before he scored four and assisted four in La Liga including two goals against Real Madrid.

4. Ruben Castro (striker): 37-year-old veteran Castro has gone full circle in his career after signing back on with Las Palmas from Real Betis. Castro started his career with Las Palmas’ youth set-up, graduating to the first team and earning a 2004 move to Deportivo La Coruña. after a series of loan deals that saw him move around Spain, Castro was finally sold to Real Betis in 2010 for £1.5 million. He is a veteran of 281 La Liga games (93 goals/21 assists) and 167 La Liga 2 games (86 goals/13 assists) proving that he knows where the back of the net is. Last season he featured in just 10 La Liga games, scoring one and assisting another. This was a step down from the previous season where he featured in 47 games across La Liga and the Chinese Super League scoring 13 and seven goals respectively in those competitions.

5 .Juan Cala (centre-back): accomplished central defender Cala started out his career with renowned Spanish side Sevilla in 2007, a series of loan deals punctuating his time at the club, including one to AEK Athens, before Cardiff City brought his to English football at the end of the winter 2014 transfer window. He lasted at Cardiff until the following January, scoring twice in his limited seven Premier League appearances. However, his experience elsewhere mustn’t be discounted, Cala having 81 La Liga appearances (eight goals/four assists) and 69 La Liga 2 appearances (five goals) under his belt. Add to this a smattering of appearances in European competitions and it is easy to see how Leeds United’s strike force might struggle should they run in to him during Sunday’s game.

Previous Article
West Brom, Hull City, Ipswich Town, West Brom set to beat Hull City & Ipswich Town to signing of League One defender

West Brom set to beat Hull City & Ipswich Town to signing of League One defender

Next Article
Hull City, Hull City set to miss out on two transfer targets

Hull City set to miss out on two transfer targets

Related Posts