Leeds United’s forgotten men finally depart the club

27 May 2021 07:21 pm, by YorkshireSquare

Leeds United have today confirmed their retained list for the 2021/22 season. Ezgjan Alioski has been offered a new contract to keep him at Elland Road beyond June whilst youngster Alfie Hughes has been offered a professional contract. Scholars Owen Bray and Taylor Ragan have had their scholarships extended whilst several more will be released when their contracts come to an end; Emmanuel Amissah, Jimiel Chikukwa, William Fewster, Ethan Kachosa, Samuel Leverett, Aaron Pilkington, Maximus Rigby and Cooper Skerry.

Along with the expected departures of Gaetano Berardi and Barry Douglas, Leeds have also announced following players will be released by Leeds United when their contract expires; Cole Gibbon, Niklas Haugland and Matthew Turner. It is also the end of the road for two of Leeds United’s forgotten men; Ouasim Bouy and Eunan O'Kane.

Ouasim Bouy

Defensive midfielder Ouasim Bouy might have been expected to move on in any of the last three or four transfer windows having never featured in Leeds United’s first team, but no move materialised. With no clubs interested the cost of paying him off would have more to Leeds than just letting his contract run down. 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. Bouy was not given a shirt number in the Beilsa revolution, his attitude probably the main reason, instead going out on loan to Dutch club PEC Zwolle. This was in fact his third loan spell at PEC Zwolle, at only 27 Bouy has found himself on loan 8 times. After four years at his time Leeds comes to an end, with no football for two years a once promising career has fizzled into nothing.

Eunan O'Kane

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. With 18 months left on his contract at Leeds he returned to Luton on loan yet again in January 2020 but has not featured for the Hatters due to his ongoing injury problems. His contract at Leeds has now come to an end, it’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for him really.

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Norm wrote on 28 May 2021 02:27 am

Shame for O'Kane really - he tried really hard and was unstinting in his efforts to perform well for the club, but he never quite reached the top levels and that's not his fault.