Four years ago this month, Garry Monk’s Leeds United rubber-stamped loan deals for two young wingers in an attempt to add some pace and depth to a promotion-chasing squad.
But, while one proved to be a major disappointment in West Yorkshire as Leeds drifted away from the play-off pack, the other offered enough glimpses of talent to suggest that his future lay far away from England’s second tier.
And there are no prizes for guessing which one of those former Leeds loanees is being linked to Barcelona this month.
It certainly isn’t Modou Barrow, the former Swansea speedster now playing in Japan with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
After an impressive start to the season with Unai Emery’s Villarreal, Marca reports that Barcelona have identified Alfonso Pedraza as an affordable addition to Ronald Koeman’s star-flecked but dreadfully-unbalanced squad.
The former Spain U21 star might not be the most glamourous or high profile of targets – that honour goes to Valencia speed-demon Jose Luis Gaya or RB Leipzig dynamo Angelino.
But what separates Pedraza from the others is, unsurprisingly, the price-tag.
Cash-strapped Barca are embroiled in a dire financial situation and, as the era of penny pinching continues in this COVID-afflicted world, Leeds fans may soon be stomaching the rather strange sight of a one-time Garry Monk signing serving up chances for Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.
“He’s an exciting talent, full of potential,” Monk said back in February 2017 after Pedraza’s deadline-day arrival from Villarreal.
Four years on, that potential could soon be realised at one of the biggest footballing institutions on planet earth.
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