Pedraza with Villarreal in 2018
|Full name||Alfonso Pedraza Sag|
|Date of birth||9 April 1996|
|Place of birth||San Sebastián, Spain|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Winger / left back|
(on loan from Villarreal)
|2016–2017||→ Lugo (loan)||23||(6)|
|2017||→ Leeds United (loan)||14||(1)|
|2017–2018||→ Alavés (loan)||33||(3)|
|2019–||→ Betis (loan)||11||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 November 2019|
Alfonso Pedraza Sag (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈfonso peˈðɾasa]; born 9 April 1996) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Real Betis on loan from Villarreal CF. Primilarly a winger, he can also operate as a left back.
Born in San Sebastián de los Ballesteros, Córdoba, Andalusia, Pedraza joined Villarreal CF's youth setup in 2011 at the age of 15, after starting out at Séneca CF. In January 2015, he was promoted to the former's C-team in Tercera División.
Pedraza made his senior debut on 11 January 2015, appearing as a second-half substitute for the reserves in a 2–2 away draw against CF Reus Deportiu for the Segunda División B championship. He scored his first goal on 1 March, netting the game's only in a home success against CD Atlético Baleares.
On 5 April 2015, after being already a regular with the B's and being called up to the main squad by manager Marcelino García Toral, Pedraza made his professional – and La Liga – debut, replacing Jonathan dos Santos in the 72nd minute of a 0–0 draw at Valencia CF. On 28 July 2016, he was loaned to Segunda División side CD Lugo for one year, scoring his first professional goal on 21 August by netting the first in a 2–2 away draw to Gimnàstic de Tarragona; he ended the season with six successful strikes and eight assists, helping to a final ninth position.
On 31 January 2017, Pedraza joined Leeds United on loan until the end of the campaign, with Villarreal paying Lugo £300,000 in order to cancel his contract with them – the deal with the English side included an option to buy for £8.5 million in May, provided they won promotion from the EFL Championship. After featuring from the bench in his debut, a 1–2 loss at Huddersfield Town, he scored his first goal on 3 March in a 3–1 away victory over Birmingham City; as the team could only rank seventh, he returned to the Estadio de la Cerámica.
On 5 July 2017, still owned by Villarreal, Pedraza signed with Deportivo Alavés for one year with a buyout clause. He scored his first goal in the Spanish top flight on 21 January 2018, putting the hosts ahead 2–0 in an eventual 2–2 home draw against CD Leganés.
Upon returning from loan, Pedraza was regularly deployed as a left back by manager Javier Calleja, and was definitely included in Villarreal's first team. On 16 July 2019, however, he moved to fellow league team Real Betis on a one-year loan, with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.
In 2015, Pedraza was part of the Spain under-19 squad that won the UEFA European Championship. He earned his first cap for the under-21s on 24 March 2016 of the following year, coming on for Dani Ceballos early in the second half of an eventual 0–3 home loss against Croatia for the 2017 European Championship qualifiers.
Style of play
Pedraza played mainly as a left winger, but could also operate on the opposite flank cutting inside or as a forward. His style of play was compared to Gareth Bale due to his speed running with the ball, as well as his strength and ability to take on defenders.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balagué described Pedraza upon signing for Leeds: It’s one of the most exciting transfers of the winter... He’s 20-year-old, he mirrors himself on Denis Cheryshev – a winger who goes forward and works really hard. And he’s a goalscorer.
- "El eballense Alfonso Pedraza debuta con el Villarreal ante el Valencia" [Eballense Alfonso Pedraza debuts with Villarreal against Valencia] (in Spanish). Minuto 90. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Empate del filial que sabe a poco (2–2)" [Reserves draw leaves bad taste in mouth (2–2)] (in Spanish). Villarreal CF. 11 January 2015. Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "El Villarreal B continúa su escalada (1–0)" [Villarreal B continue to climb] (in Spanish). Villarreal CF. 1 March 2015. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Alfonso Pedraza, talento a raudales" [Alfonso Pedraza, talent in abundance] (in Spanish). Villarreal CF. 26 March 2015. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- Campos, Tomás (5 April 2015). "El Villarreal frena la euforia valencianista" [Villarreal stop Valencia euphoria]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Alfonso Pedraza, nuevo jugador del CD Lugo" [Alfonso Pedraza, new player of CD Lugo] (in Spanish). CD Lugo. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "El Lugo desperdició una ventaja de dos goles y el Nástic rescató un punto" [Lugo threw away a two-goal advantage and Nàstic rescued a point]. Marca (in Spanish). 21 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- Sobot, Lee (31 January 2017). "Leeds United: Who is Alfonso Pedraza?". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Pérez de Guereñu, Aitor (24 July 2017). "Análisis: Alfonso Pedraza, un extremo a la antigua usanza" [Analysis: Alfonso Pedraza, an old-school winger] (in Spanish). Vavel. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "Pedraza joins in loan deal". Leeds United F.C. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Hay, Phil (31 January 2017). "Leeds United: Villarreal winger Pedraza due to join Whites on loan". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- Morgan, Richard (7 February 2017). "Huddersfield Town 2–1 Leeds United: Michael Hefele's late strike sends hosts up to fourth". Sky Sports. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Scott, Ged (3 March 2017). "Birmingham City 1–3 Leeds United". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
- "2017/18 retained list". Leeds United F.C. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
- "Alfonso jugará cedido en el Deportivo Alavés" [Alfonso will play on loan at Deportivo Alavés] (in Spanish). Villarreal CF. 5 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Pérez, José I. (21 January 2018). "Zaldua 'hunde' al Alavés" [Zaldua 'sinks' Alavés]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- Badenes, Raül (8 August 2018). "Pedraza: «El míster me ve de lateral y me adapto a lo que necesite el equipo»" [Pedraza: "Boss sees me as a full back and I adapt to what the team needs"]. El Periódico Mediterráneo (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- Morán, Miguel Ángel (16 July 2019). "Official: Real Betis sign Alfonso Pedraza on loan". Marca. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- "Spain see off Russia for seventh Under-19 crown". UEFA. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "Croacia destroza a la Selección sub-21 y le complica mucho su clasificación a la Euro" [Croacia destroy under-21 national team and make their Euro qualification quite hard]. El Confidencial (in Spanish). 24 March 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- Gaffney, Andrew (30 January 2017). "LaLiga: Leeds set to land the 'Spanish Bale' – but who is Alfonso Pedraza?". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- Cambridge, James (31 January 2017). "Guillem Balague: Leeds set to complete exciting deadline-day transfer". Daily Express. Retrieved 31 January 2017.