By Sam Stone

21st Nov, 2022 | 9:10am

Leeds United retain interest in Ecuador winger Gonzalo Plata

Leeds United are still interested in Real Valladolid winger Gonzalo Plata after previously pursuing a summer move for the Ecuador international, according to Mark Carruthers.

The Whites were trying to bring the 22-year-old to Elland Road as they searched for a replacement for Raphinha, with Leeds looking to capitalise on Real Valladolid potentially failing to sign him from Sporting Lisbon (Corrieo da Manha, 7 June, page 11).

However, Plata completed a move to the La Liga side and has started the season in good form and featured in Ecuador’s opening World Cup game against Qatar.

Carruthers, who writes for The Chronicle, and Sunderland Echo, and has over 10,000 followers on Twitter, has suggested the Yorkshire side are looking at the winger alongside Newcastle.

He wrote (Newcastle World, 21 November): “Leeds were also linked with a move for Plata during the summer as they considered him as a replacement for Barcelona-bound Raphinha and are believed to have retained their interest in the winger.”

Not a priority

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In the summer, it was easy to understand why Leeds were interested in Plata, with Raphinha’s departure meaning a new winger simply had to come into Elland Road.

However, Luis Sinisterra’s arrival has filled the void for Jesse Marsch, with there now being far more pressing concerns for the American to deal with.

A left-back has to be near the top of his list of priorities with Junior Firpo really struggling since moving to the Premier League and Pascal Struijk operating out of position. Leeds have been all over the place defensively of late, so strengthening that area of the pitch should be the first concern for Marsch.

A striker is also what fans have been calling for, with Patrick Bamford missing the goalscoring touch in the 2022/23 season. Leeds haven’t struggled for goals this year, with Rodrigo in fine form in the first half of the season. However, it’s somewhat unrealistic to expect the Spaniard to deliver for the whole campaign.

This is certainly one to watch out for.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has revealed the whispers he’s heard at Elland Road about when the 49ers will complete their takeover.