By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

11th Jun, 2022 | 11:10am

Leeds United tipped to replace Raphinha with Gonzalo Plata amid £8.5m hijack speculation - Sky pundit

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United...

Paul Robinson likes the sound of Raphinha-esque Sporting CP forward Gonzalo Plata after he was linked with a move to Leeds United this summer.

Portuguese newspaper O Jogo reported on their website on 5 June that Leeds are ready to swoop in and sign Plata, 21, if Real Vallodolid are unable to agree a permanent deal for the Ecuador international.

Plata spent the 21/22 season on loan at Valladolid, helping them win promotion to La Liga. However, it is understood that they are struggling to pay the £8.5million option-to-buy fee they initially agreed when he joined on loan last year.

Plata is a direct, right-sided winger who’s left-footed and has bags of pace and skill.

Leeds could reportedly make a move for the Sporting CP dazzler if Valladolid can’t sign him and Robinson feels he could fill a void that may be left by Barcelona-linked Raphinha.

Speaking to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said: “He sounds very much like a Raphinha type of player.

They seem to be highly sought-after, these wingers who play on the opposite side to what foot they are.

I’d be surprised if Raphinha is still there at the start of next season.

I think with where his value is at the moment, his ambitions and how good he’s been the last two years, I’d be very surprised if he’s there at the start of next season.

I think a big club will come in and they’ll test the water with Champions League football possibly going.

For Leeds, depending on what type of transfer budget they’ve got, they’ll do well selling him and putting the money back in the team.

“If they are looking at the type of players like Plata at Sporting, it would suggest he’s seen as a replacement for Raphinha.”

Plata scored six goals and supplied five assists in 30 league appearances at Valladolid to help fire the Ronaldo-owned club back into the Spanish top-flight.

In other Leeds United news, a club is “guaranteed” to cash in on this Elland Road-linked forward.