Players That Should Never Have Left Leeds United
18 Oct 2019 06:57pm, by YorkshireSquare
This modern era of football sees players switch allegiances far too easily before weighing up the correct pros and cons. That has led to some disastrous moves for players down the years, with some of them lamented as Judas when they eventually return for a game with their new side. That has been particularly the case with Leeds players down the years, but not all of them have fared as well as they thought they would.
The current side looks set for a productive season and should maintain their form for a push at automatic promotion back to the Premier League. You can make sure you get the best odds for your bet builder by using the right bookmaker and using these can ensure maximum profit on all Leeds United bets this season. But, which players would have wished they would have stayed at Leeds when they look back at their career?
Alan Smith grew up as a life-long Leeds United fan, but when the club were relegated from the Premier League, he did the unthinkable. Smith moved to Manchester United, and while the move made financial sense, it was a strange move for somebody that had claimed to be a fan of the Whites. Granted, he won everything there was to win at Old Trafford, but he would certainly look back at his career and question whether losing the admiration from Elland Road was worth it.
During his career at Leeds, he was a cult hero and made nearly 200 appearances for the club. At one stage he was an England regular, and his work rate on the field was second to none. He was one of the best players in that relegation campaign, but the pictures at the final whistle of him crying and kissing the badge have been removed from the memory of every fan.
Leeds got almost £8 million for the midfielder, and he was an impressive player in the post-Marcelo Bielsa regime. His performances throughout his career at Leeds couldn’t have been knocked as he gave his all to the club and was a role model to the younger players that were coming up through the academy. In 2018, he was named in the top 20 promising players in the world, a list in which Kylian Mbappe topped.
However, he was named Leeds captain by Bielsa in 2018, before shortly moving to Serie A side Sampdoria. His career in Italy hasn’t really got off the ground to this point, and if you gave him the chance to turn back time, he would likely have stayed at Leeds and been the leader in the dressing room.
The Ivorian was adored during his time at Elland Road, and while he only stayed at Leeds for two seasons, he was undoubtedly a player of massive potential. These two seasons were probably the best of his career, as he caused nightmares for opposing players and played a crucial role as Leeds knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup.
He also won the Players’ Player of the Year and the Fans Player of the Year while at the club, and since his move away from Elland Road, his career has gone backwards. He enjoyed two seasons at his peak with Saint Etienne, before moving back to England with Bournemouth. He failed to reach his limit while on the south coast and was moved on to Toulouse. Gradel had so much potential during his days at Leeds, and he may have reached his peak should he have stayed at Elland Road.