By Pranav Shahaney

29th Nov, 2022 | 10:10am

Leeds United scout World Cup attacker Gonzalo Plata who is on long-term radar at Elland Road

Leeds United have reportedly scouted Real Valladolid attacker Gonzalo Plata who’s currently representing Ecuador at the World Cup.

According to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs, the 22-year-old has been on the club’s tabs since last season before he ended up moving to Spain permanently.

He was still on Sporting CP’s books and after a season out on loan at Valladolid he ended up joining them permanently.

Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jacobs said, “Leeds are one club that have scouted him and have kept him on a longer-term radar. They have done that since last season, when he was still a loanee, but chose not to move.

“Part of the reason for that is because he wasn’t playing in La Liga at that point and the goalscoring form hasn’t translated into the top division in Spain as far as he’s concerned.

“That’s going to be one to watch because it’s one thing, last season, having that goalscoring run, which is very valuable as a winger. Anybody that can add assists, goals and has his pace is obviously going to be on the radar, but Real Valladolid are in La Liga this season and it’s been a step up.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“I think, therefore, it’s a wait and see mentality as far as a club like Leeds are concerned and they’re not the only one as well.”

Worth keeping an eye on

Plata may not be the most familiar of names for the average Leeds fan, but he’s quietly making a name for himself in Europe.

At 22, he is achieving things that attackers in their prime do and there’s no surprise that the Whites want him as a step up could be the best thing for him in January or the summer.

While he is a right winger by trade, he does like drifting into the opposition penalty area and does offer a goal threat each time he has the ball in the 18-yard box.

Left Back Football did an incredible feature on him in May 2022 this year and they wrote, “The timing of his runs, occupation of space and the way he adapts to movements of teammates, opposition defenders and situations in order to move into high quality areas inside the opposition box is phenomenal.”

He’s got the pace to leave defenders for dead and that’s important if teams create a lot on the transition which is exactly what Leeds do.

They’re not a side to sit back and let the opposition dictate terms but they’ve scored a number of fast-break goals and that’s credit to the quick attacking players they’ve got.

If Jesse Marsch can make Plata play more centrally as he’s spoilt for choice on the wings, it’s an opportunity worth exploring in January.

In other Leeds United news, a first-team defender may not have long left at Elland Road after “Awful” footage emerges from this month, making a January transfer imperative.