Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring Gonzalo Plata to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Bolavip, who claim that Leeds have now joined the race for the Sporting Lisbon winger, who is also a €10m (£8.5m) target of Real Valladolid – the team with whom the 21-year-old spent the season on loan.
The report goes on to state that the Ecuador international’s representatives contacted a number of Premier League clubs regarding the availability of their client in the summer transfer window, with Victor Orta looking to have been convinced by the forward’s impressive campaign in Spain.
Considering just how much potential Plata evidently possesses, in addition to the fact that Raphinha looks almost certain to leave Elland Road in a €55m (£47m) deal in the coming months, it is easy to see why Orta would be interested in a move for the Sporting starlet this summer.
Indeed, over his 30 LaLiga 2 appearances this season, the £4.5m-rated talent played a pivotal role in Valladolid’s promotion back to the top flight of Spanish football, scoring six goals, registering five assists and creating five big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.5 shots, making 1.4 key passes and completing 2.3 dribbles per game.
The 21-year-old forward also highly impressed in a defensive capacity, making an average of 1.8 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and winning 6.0 duels – at a success rate of 51% – per fixture.
These returns saw the player who Sam Tighe claimed has a “huge amount of talent” – as well as “lovely dribbling” ability and an “extremely hard” work rate – average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.96.
For comparison, over Raphinha’s 35 Premier League appearances this season, the £40.5m-rated winger scored 11 goals, provided three assists and created ten big chances, in addition to taking an average of 2.5 shots, making 1.9 key passes and completing 1.8 dribbles per game – with these returns seeing the Brazil international average a SofaScore match rating of 6.97.
As such, while it is undeniable that the step up from LaLiga 2 to the Premier League will be a difficult one to make, it is abundantly clear that Plata boasts the ability to do so.
And, considering the youngster’s extremely similar profile to Leeds’ current 25-year-old wing wizard, should the Spaniard manage to get a deal over the line for the Ecuadorian this summer, the Sporting starlet could well prove to become Orta’s next Raphinha-style discovery at Elland Road.