Some rumors out of Spain indicating that Samu Saiz is not the only Huesca player that Leeds United are interested in. Spanish television station Aragon TV reported that Venezuela international Alexander Gonzalez was also reportedly going with Saiz to England, with a deal for both possibly tying up the deal that was supposed to be resolved by now.
Leeds have had a look. It's a possible.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) July 6, 2017
Phil Hay of the The Yorkshire Evening Post lent the theory of a double transfer for both Gonzalez and Saiz a little more weight after saying that Leeds United had a look at Gonzalez, so just who is Alexander Gonzalez?
Alexander Gonzalez is a right-footed player that can play either as a right midfielder, right winger, or as a right back. Gonzalez began his career at local club Caracas FC, who are the most successful team in the Venezuelan Primera División with 11 titles. Gonzalez played for them from 2009 to 2012, starting his career under manager Noel Sanvicente, who would later manage the Venezuela national team.
Gonzalez was signed in the summer of 2009 from the youth team, Caracas B, after one of the most successful seasons in Caracas’ history, as the club lost on away goals in the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores to Brazilian powerhouse Gremio in 2009. Gonzalez would go on to appear in six Copa Libertadores matches for Caracas in the spring of 2011.
He joined BSC Young Boys in the 2012 January transfer window, and went on to appear six times in the league for the Swiss club, each time as a right back. In the 2012-13 season at Young Boys, he appeared 32 times in all competitions, but only started ten of them, coming on as a substitute 22 different times. Most of his starts came at right back.
After his career seemed to stall, he was sent out on loan to FC Aarau for the 2013-14 season, where he slotted into the starting line-up. Gonzalez seemed to finally get a run in the midfield and started 23 times in 30 appearances. Gonzalez was once again sent out on loan for the 2014-15 season, this time to FC Thun. He got another good run in the starting lineup, this time starting 26 of his 33 appearances in all competitions. He returned to his parent club, Young Boys, at the end of the season.
After making only ten appearances for Young Boys in the 2015-16 season, he was allowed to leave for SD Huesca on a free transfer. He started 14 of his 16 appearances for Huesca in the 2015-16 season, playing exclusively as a right winger. He made 37 appearances last season for Huesca in all competitions, coming on as a sub 13 times and playing almost all of his time at right midfield. He was, however, left on the bench in both legs of the playoffs against Getafe CF, which Huesca lost.
He was also a member of the Venezuela team, managed by his old club manager Noel Sanvicente, that upset Uruguay in the group stages and reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 Copa América Centenario in the United States. He started at right back against Mexico after coming on in the 8th minute against Uruguay after an injury to Málaga CF’s Roberto Rosales, the usual starting right back. He has been capped over 40 times by his country, the most recent coming in a 3-1 World Cup Qualifying loss to Chile back in March, where he started at right back and the only goal goal for Venezuela was scored by West Bromwich Albion’s Salomón Rondón.
To be perfectly honest, the move doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, unless the management team at Leeds United believe that he could make a valuable squad player or could challenge Hadi Sacko and Kemar Roofe on the right wing. Sacko’s loan move was made permanent this summer before Christiansen was brought aboard, and perhaps he isn’t seen as the long-term solution. And while Gonzalez plays right back for the national team, he hasn’t played there at the club level for years. Yesterday’s signing of Vurnon Anita would seem to provide cover for the full back positions. Who knows. Maybe Gonzalez is seen as a valuable depth piece by Victor Orta and his Spanish scouts, or maybe Huesca wants to throw in another player to increase the transfer fee on a player they got on a free. Either way, anyone expecting Gonzalez to come in and light up the Championship will likely be disappointed. And if he does flourish, well, shows what us fans know, right?