Alfonso Pedraza: Time with Leeds United helped me grow up

Villarreal defender and reported Real Madrid target Alfonso Pedraza has explained how his spell playing in England helped him ‘grow up’.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Alaves – for whom he made 37 first-team appearances – and prior to that he spent the 2016/17 season between Segunda outfit Lugo and Leeds United.

“You are far from your family and have nobody to lean on,” Pedraza told an interview with Marca.

“For example, I have nephews but I did not get to see them grow during this period, so it helps you mature a lot.

“Before moving to England, I had never before lived outside of Spain and this helped me see a different type of football, another culture with new teammates.

“It was a very good experienced that helped me to grow up.

“We have to live football 24 hours a day now, I find it very hard to disconnect as I am constantly thinking of improving and taking care of myself.

“We are always working, because we have to have 10 years of a good career.”

Pedraza has featured in 14 of Villarreal’s matches to date this season and has earned glowing reviews, including scoring a late equaliser against Levante this month.

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