This summer has seen a bit of an exodus at Elland Road. A total of 20 players have left the club with a further 6 players have also left on loan deals, most of who would have been considered surplus to requirements, as Leeds look to reduce the wage bill and achieve a smaller, leaner squad. With the departures of Laurens De Bock, Vurnon Anita and Conor Shaughnessy yesterday there remains only two ‘senior’ squad members not out on loan or without a squad number at the club; Ouasim Bouy and Eunan O'Kane.
Defensive midfielder Ouasim Bouy might have been expected to move on deadline, having never featured in Leeds United’s first team, but no move materialised. The former Juventus youth player signed for Leeds on a free transfer in August 2017 but immediately moved to Cultural Leonesa on an ultimately unsuccessful loan, ending early after just 4 appearances. As with many of this summers departures Bouy was not given a shirt number in the Beilsa revolution instead going out on loan to Dutch club PEC Zwolle. This was in fact his third loan spell at PEC Zwolle, at only 26 Bouy has found himself on loan 8 times. With two years left on his contract but no part to play in the Leeds setup Bouy’s future remains uncertain.
Attacking midfielder Eunan O'Kane signed from Bournemouth on transfer deadline day during the summer of 2016. His debut came that September against Blackburn Rovers and his initial performance impressed. It wasn’t to last though as the recurrence of a groin injury in the November put him out of action until January but he failed to regain his place. O’Kane became a regular feature next season under new coach Thomas Christiansen but again lost his first team place first to Ronaldo Vieira and then to Adam Forshaw who was singed in the January 2018 transfer window.
Not given a shirt number for the 2018-2019 under Marcelo Bielsa he went on loan to Luton but suffered a bad double leg break against Bristol Rovers on 15th September. He returned to Leeds for a long rehabilitation following surgery. O’Kane has two years left on his Leeds contract but remains down the pecking order behind Phillips, Forshaw and potentially McCalmont but having not played a match for nearly 12 months it was always going to be difficult to move him on this summer. He will now look to improve his fitness with the potential of a move in the January transfer window. It’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for him.
LUFCs Forgotten Men, Ouasim Bouy and Eunan O'Kane