Leonardo Ulloa Joins Leicester City
Ulloa has performed impressively during the 18 months since he joined Brighton from Spanish side Almeria, scoring 26 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions and providing a powerful platform for the Seagulls’ attacking play.
Operating as both a lone striker or accompanied by supporting forwards, the Argentinian front-man helped fire Brighton into the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs last term, scoring crucially at Nottingham Forest on the final day of the season to secure a top-six finish. He ended the campaign with 16 goals.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson said: “We identified Leo as a player that could help us move forward quite some time ago. He complements the forwards we already have very well and his attributes broaden the options available to us, which will be important this season. I’m delighted we’ve been able to add him to the squad.
“He has adapted extremely well to the English game in a relatively short period of time and I’m sure he will have a great deal to offer us in the Premier League.”
Ulloa’s career began in Argentina in 2002 with second division outfit CAI, before he stepped up to the top flight with San Lorenzo three years later. Following spells with Arsenal Sarandi and Olimpo, a move to Europe beckoned for the talented forward and he joined Castellon in the Spanish second division in 2008. Ulloa began to make an impression in Spain immediately, scoring 16 times in his debut season and a further 14 the following year, despite Castellon’s relegation from the second tier. Ulloa, however, was progressing in the opposite direction and earned a move to top flight side Almeira in 2010.
Almeira were unable to retain their Primera Liga status that season and missed out on an immediate return the following year, despite their talismanic front-man leading the second division’s scoring charts with 28 goals. A move for Ulloa seemed inevitable and it arrived some six months later when he joined Brighton in the January transfer window of 2013.
Leo made a dream start at the American Express Community Stadium, scoring on his debut in an FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Arsenal and finding the net a further nine times before the end of the campaign.
Brighton were ultimately vanquished in the play-offs by Crystal Palace that season, just as they were by Derby County last term, but Ulloa will now get his shot at the Premier League in the blue of Leicester City.
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