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Alfonso Pedraza joins Alavés on loan; Villarreal unwilling to take Nahuel back

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Let’s hope he gets the playing time he needs.

Fulham v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Alfonso Pedraza is joining Deportivo Alavés on a one-year loan. It’s officially confirmed; there is no purchase option, just a straight opportunity to gain playing time in the Primera.

Several other teams had inquired about him as well, and given how little Cristian Espinosa played for Alaves I am a bit surprised Villarreal agreed to send him there, but maybe there were some honest discussions about that.

Alfonso’s problem is that right now there are too many players ahead of him, so unless he were likely to unseat one of our existing wingers he’d have little chance to play, and we can’t shuttle him between first and second team really—his days of playing in the Segunda B should be behind him. Hopefully he’ll have an opportunity to play regularly and will be ready to challenge for a first-team place next summer.

Villarreal certainly view him as a player they want to keep; they turned down Leeds’s attempt to purchase him. Meanwhile, Nahuel Leiva is in the opposite situation; Real Betis, who took him on a two-year loan last fall, don’t want to keep him, but Villarreal have been unwilling to cancel the loan and take him back. Instead, we’ve told the Seville side THEY need to find someone to assume the loan, not us.

Nahuel’s career has stalled, due in part to his immaturity; in 2014-15 there were all sorts of stories about how the Spanish NT might want him to choose playing for them over Argentina, but he’s not even playing for the Spain U-21 side these days. He only played 147 minutes last season for the green and whites, but evidently Villarreal’s front office isn’t willing to intervene, cancel the loan, and find another destination for him. We’ll see how that story progresses.