In January 2017, Leeds United made the sort of announcement that every Championship club would get excited about.
Villarreal and Spain under 21 international Alfonso Pedraza signed for the club on a six month loan deal. At the time the Whites were fourth in the Championship table and seemingly set for the Premier League.
Alfonso had been on loan with Spanish side Lugo, but Villarreal paid up his loan deal there and included an £8.5m right to buy for Leeds on conclusion of his loan.
Fans were naturally delighted. He seemed like the sort of player who could make a serious impact, like Ruben Neves later did for Wolves. Sadly, he turned out to be a bit more like Gil Dias, all reputation but no substance.
He made eight starts for the club, throwing another six appearances in from the bench as Leeds fell away from the top of the table. He did score once, rounding off a 3-1 win at Birmingham on only his third outing.
He returned to his parent club at the end of the season, with few shedding a tear. That might have been the end of it, but a loan spell at Alves gave him a platform on which to showcase his talents and even led to Barcelona scouting him.
This season he’s made 31 appearances for Villarreal, scoring three times, proving that his spell in England may not have been sensational, but it certainly helped his development even if it didn’t get the Whites’ promoted.
— Joe (@_Joelufc) January 31, 2017
when Leeds finally start producing content like a professional football club! Looks great
— Dan Hill (@dtheoryUK) January 31, 2017
Now just got to sign him on #FMM17, he's £1.3mwillion, I've heard he's pretty damn good, marching on together!!!
— Johnny XxX (@johnnymcweez) January 31, 2017
hopefully brings some of that flair we've been missing. Him and Pablo hopefully work well together.
— James (@jimmy_L_UFC) January 31, 2017
— DJ (@LEEDSwitness) February 1, 2017
@andrearadri GET A STRIKER IN,,,Show us you're a proper Club owner , not just in it for personal glory
— John Thorner (@SirRobinCatbush) January 31, 2017
The Donkeys like Dallas Grimes Cooper and Doukara, I bet the 4 of them are them are happy, meaning we have to watch them do nowt
— jasen (@superleeds511) January 31, 2017