Lugo were left rocked when Villarreal contacted them towards the end of the January transfer window and said Alfonso Pedraza would be going on loan to Leeds United. The 21 year old had been crucial for Lugo, but Villarreal had a recall clause, and the Spanish second vision club hadn’t done enough to protect themselves.
What would often be the case, if Lugo had built the deal to avoid such a situation, is a clause meaning Villarreal could only use their recall clause before a certain date in January, the 10th for example, giving them plenty of time to replace Pedraza if needs be.
Instead, Lugo lost an important player without the time to fully look for a replacement. Villarreal’s eyes lit up at the thought of a €10m fee if Leeds United achieved promotion, and the player was packed off on a plane to England. Soon afterwards, Lugo parted company with their director of sport.
The loan went reasonably well, but it wasn’t a great success and it doesn’t sound like Pedraza is keen to repeat it. Speaking to Marca, the former Leeds United loanee was asked about his experience in the Championship, and explained: “After Christmas came the option of going to Leeds. To play in the Championship was a good choice to keep growing. We decided to go and although it wasn’t one of my best experiences, I learned a lot and I improved both as a player and person.
“In all, (at Lugo) I got enough goals and gave a lot of assists. I had a lot of confidence and then, at Leeds, everything went very quickly. I arrived in February, didn’t have time to adapt, the league was already in play and there were many matches. It took more, but it was an experience that helped me to grow.”
When asked if he’d like to play outside of Spain again next season, Pedraza said: “What I want is to play. This year I would like to stay in Spain and gain experience.”
The former Leeds attacker is aiming for a stint in Spain’s top division, whether with Villarreal or elsewhere, and that’s inline with the wishes of his club.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) June 4, 2017