In hindsight, Luke Murphy’s 2013/14 move from Crewe Alexandra to Leeds United does not seem too ground-breaking. After all, the midfielder struggled to make an impact under various managers at Elland Road and was farmed out to Burton Albion on loan in January.
However, the anticipation that surrounded his transfer was less to do with his playing style than the fact he had become Leeds’ first £1million signing in eight years.
Therefore, it says a lot about Leeds’ progression under Massimo Cellino, and new co-owner Andrea Radrizzani, that they could be set to splash out £8.5 million on an unproven, 20-year-old import, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.
The Whites plucked gifted attacker Alfonso Pedraza on loan from Villarreal’s reserves in January and, the publication adds, will be forced to make the deal permanent in the summer if they earn promotion to the Premier League.
This would make Pedraza, who certainly got fans talking after an exciting debut cameo against Huddersfield Town, Leeds’ most expensive signing since the doomed purchase of Robbie Fowler from Liverpool for £11 million, the Yorkshire Evening Post claims.
For what it is worth, that was 16 years ago, when Leeds were still challenging at the top of the Premier League.
If anyone continues to doubt the impact of Cellino at Elland Road, the signing of Pedraza would confirm for certain that, despite the off-field controversies, the Italian has given Leeds the financial footing to progress.