Leeds United could be set to welcome a new left-back to the fold, as they are preparing an offer for Alfonso Pedraza and are the ‘only team’ in pursuit now.
Leeds have encountered another tricky season so far in this campaign. After narrowly avoiding the drop last season, when they finished 17th, they have struggled for form yet again this term.
While they are in 15th place, they find themselves just two points away from slipping into the relegation place.
Naturally, that will be something that manager Jesse Marsch will want to rectify. An injury to Junior Firpo, which kept him out of the side at the beginning of the campaign, has not helped matters.
Firpo is one of two natural left-backs in the Whites squad – the other Leo Hjelde, who is yet to play in the league this season.
Instead of utilising the youngtser, when Firpo was out, Pascal Struijk was the preferred left-sided defender. While the Dutchman is a centre-back, he has shown he is able to play on the left previously.
His form has been one of the more positive aspects of the Leeds season. Struijk has been the third-most used player by Marsch in terms of minutes this season.
What’s more, he has scored two goals and assisted one. He has performed so well that even when Firpo was back available, Struijk retained his spot on the left.
Leeds in the clear for Pedraza
Despite his form, Leeds would likely be keen on allowing him to play in a position more natural to him. Indeed, they have been on the trail of Villarreal left-back Pedraza – who played for them on loan in 2016/17, to fill the left-back position.
The Spaniard is reportedly seen as an upgrade on Firpo, who has struggled to find his feet at Leeds.
There has been apparent interest from Inter Milan in the left-back, which could have caused the Whites a problem. However, it seems that problem has now gone away.
Indeed, La Razon reports that the Serie A side’s interest has faded. As such, Leeds are now the ‘only team threatening’ Pedraza’s time at Villarreal.
Pedraza bid incoming
With that being said, it would make sense if Marsch’s side were to take advantage of their current position.
That seems to be exactly what they are going to do, too. Indeed, the report suggests that they are planning to ‘present an offer’ to Villarreal.
While Pedraza is under contract with the Spanish side until 2026, his value should not be too high.
As such, Leeds could have a good chance of snaring the left-back. The hope for the Whites would be that he can make an impact on the side.
As a former winger – the position he played on his previous loan spell at Leeds – he should offer attacking threat down the left flank; he scored four goals and provided five assists in La Liga last season.
While Struijk has performed well to this point, Pedraza will surely offer more in terms of going forwards.
As long as he can still do his job on the defensive end, Leeds should be in good shape if they can add him to the mix.
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