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It’s a while now since Leeds United have been competing at the top of European football. Since our fall from grace the money changing hands at the top of the game has become mind boggling. Whether it be £105 million for Philippe Coutinho or £198 million for Neymar the top clubs in the world operate on a different level to everyone else.
But there was a time when Leeds United were competing at the top of the European game and made some transfer deals to match. They may look pretty small when compared to the hundreds of millions floating around now but back then they were significant fees. So here are Leeds United’s five most expensive transfers.
Seth Johnson, October 2001, £7 Million
Seth Johnson’s Leeds United transfer is the fifth biggest in the club’s history. It was in 2001 that the derby county man made a switch to Leeds United in a deal that cost the club up to £7 million. At this time, the player was doing so well at Derby County and the club needed his services. However, things did not turn out so well for the man behind the biggest money move the club had ever experienced. Within the course of the 4 years he spent at Leeds United, he only made 54 appearances due to several injury spells. He only got four goals for them within this period and had to transfer back to Derby County in a free transfer.
Olivier Dacourt, May 2000, £7.2 Million
Oliver is the fourth in the list of the biggest Leeds United transfers in history. It was in 2000 that the transfer of Oliver Dacourt from Lens was completed. It was a deal that cost Leeds United £7.2million. But one good thing about this transfer is that the player did not disappoint. He became a hero upon arrival because of his fighting spirit and the ability to win the ball regularly. During his stay at Leeds United, the club got to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League and even finished within the top four in the English Premier League. This was hugely due to his contributions. He also featured in the French national team regularly at that moment. However, in 2003, he moved to Roma on loan after he had issues with the manager, Terry Venables. The club later sealed a permanent transfer deal with Roma for Dacoutr, which was worth £5 million.
Robbie Fowler, January 2002, £11 Million
The transfer of Fowler from Liverpool to Leeds United was the 3rd most expensive transfer deal that Leeds United has ever gotten into. It cost them £11 million to bring the Liverpool shining star to the Elland Road. But he did not make the impact they sought for, since he only made 30 appearances for the team and scored just 14 goals. He started well, and helped the team to the UEFA Super Cup in his first season. However, he got injured at the inception of the second season and nursed it till the middle of the season. This and other factors made Leeds United to finish 15th that season. To raise money for the following season, the club may have thought of various solutions. In order to find the most reasonable one they could go online stumbling upon lots of gambling advertisements about places such as foxy casino. But it meant that some big-name players had to leave Leeds United. So he had to transfer to Man City in a deal worth £3 million and a possible additional £3 million in 2003.
Robbie Keane, May 2001, £12 Million
Robbie Keane’s transfer to Leeds United is one of the biggest transfer deals the club has ever done, and he also doubles as one of the biggest name players to transfer to leads. He moved from Inter Milan to the Leeds United on loan in 2000 and performed wonders. Notching 9 goals in his first 18 games, Leeds United later went for a permanent transfer which cost them £12 million. But after his transfer deal was made permanent, he dropped in form and made no meaningful impact again. This prompted Leeds United to sell him off to Tottenham for £7 million in 2002.
Rio Ferdinand, November 2000, £18 Million
Ferdinand’s transfer to Leeds United from West Ham in 2000 is obviously the most expensive and biggest Leeds United transfer deal ever. His £18 million move was not just the biggest transfer deal for this club; it also set a British record and a world record as the costliest defender too. With his help, and the goal he scored in the quarter final, the club got to the finals of the Champions League. In 2001, he was made the skipper of the Leeds United. However, after performing well at the 2002 world cup, Manchester United came in with a bid of more than £29 million. With his transfer to Manchester United, he broke his old transfer record and set a new one. His transfer remains Leeds United most expensive deal till date.