Newcastle links show Alfonso Pedraza has thrived since Leeds United exit

Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Leeds United at Cardiff City Stadium on September 26, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales.

Alfonso Pedraza spent five erratic months on loan at Leeds United last season - but his excellent La Liga form has now alerted Newcastle and Southampton.

Sone Aluko of Fulham holds off Alfonso Pedraza of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Leeds United at Craven Cottage on March 7, 2017 in London, England.

Deportivo Alaves may have lost eight of their nine La Liga games since Alfonso Pedraza arrived on loan from Villarreal in the summer but don’t let that fool you.

The 21-year-old has been by far the outstanding performer for last season’s Copa Del Rey finalists, ensuring that 2016/17’s loan star, Theo Hernandez, has not been missed all that much at the Mendizorrotza.

Theo cost Real Madrid £22.8 million when they triggered his buyout clause at rivals Atletico in the summer (BBC). But Pedraza himself is showing that he should be worth a big sum to after converting from a speedy winger into a powerful and aggressive full-back.

The International Business Times claim that scouts from Premier League duo Newcastle United and Southampton have watched Pedraza in action this season for La Liga’s second-from-bottom side.

Real Madrid's defender from Spain Daniel Carvajal (L) vies with Alaves' forward from Spain Alfonso Pedraza during the Spanish league football match Deportivo Alaves vs Real Madrid CF at...

Newcastle, under the stewardship of Rafael Benitez, recruited three Spaniards in the summer including Mikel Merino and the manager sees Pedraza as another star of the future.

From erratic winger to powerhouse full-back

And the fact that Pedraza is now being linked with a big money move to the Premier League shows just how far he’s come since that disappointing loan spell at Leeds United from January to May last season.

The report adds that Villarreal included a clause in Pedraza’s temporary move to West Yorkshire, meaning Leeds would have to sign the youngster permanently for £9 million if they earned promotion to the Premier League.

Alfonso Pedraza of Leeds United evades Neeskens Kebano of Fulham during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Leeds United at Craven Cottage on March 7, 2017 in London, England.

Leeds, however, finished one place outside the play-offs after a spring-time collapse while Pedraza managed just one goal and no assists in 14 largely erratic Championship appearances.

Just a few months after leaving Elland Road, however, Pedraza is thriving in a new position and looking like the latest star to emerge from the prolific Villarreal academy.

It seems as if Pedraza could reach the Premier League before Leeds do.

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