Former Man United and Liverpool target scores first La Liga goal in over a year

Leo Baptistao was once courted by several Premier League sides - but he has struggled to live up to that billing ever since.

Rewind back to January 2013 and Manchester United and Liverpool were reportedly doing battle for one of Spain’s most talented young players - Rayo Vallecano forward Leo Baptistao.

Like Diego Costa Baptistao is Brazilian born - but moved to Europe early to pursue a career as a professional footballer. He signed for Rayo at the tender age of 16-years-old - before a battle with hepatitis waylaid him for a period of time.

But he had been impressing at Vallecano last season - and the Premier League rivals were said to be readying moves for the player in the summer.

But they missed out, as Baptistao instead agreed a deal to join his fellow Brazilian expatriate Costa at the Vicente Calderon.

Diego Simeone splashed out a reported €7 million to get his man in the summer - but it has not exactly gone to plan for the 21-year-old.

He has not scored for Atletico in La Liga, his only goal in eight appearances for the club coming against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the Champions League last year - and he was shipped out on loan to relegation battling Real Betis in January.

That move has also not panned out just yet - until last night not scoring in his first 11 appearances for the side.

But finally he has a goal.

He scored a crucial opener in the 2-0 win against Getafe yesterday to help Betis in their seemingly futile fight for top flight survival.

It is his first La Liga goal since he bagged against his future club Atletico in February last year - and it clearly appears as though United and Liverpool were right not to pursue his signature this summer.

Here is the goal…

image: © cedric ramirez

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