Free agent, Champions League finalist, would Leeds United option re-vitalise his career?

Jermaine Pennant

Should Leeds consider handing free agent Jermaine Pennant a chance to return to the club?

A controversial figure tipped for the very top of English football, Jermaine Pennant faces watching this weekend's action on television.

The 31-year-old finds himself without a club, wondering if his legacy will be one of unfulfilled talent.

Pennant came close; he reached the Champions League Final playing for Liverpool and was one of their best players in the 2007 1-0 defeat to AC Milan.

He was released by Stoke City this summer after falling out of favour, where he originally started brightly - and there have been good spots on his CV, namely a loan spell with Leeds United in 2003/04, where he was a regular in their Premier League side.

With the Whites in a spell of transition of their own, adjusting to life under Massimo Cellino, could the determined Italian owner look to bring Pennant in on a free transfer?

In terms of a deal for Leeds, there would be very little risk on a short-term contract. Just two years ago Pennant revealed he had been approached by the club over a loan deal, only to opt for Wolves instead because it was 'nearer' to where he lived. Right now, he does not have the luxury of being so picky.

He produced 14 assists in the two full seasons with Stoke in which he made more than 10 starts per year, but was ostracised by Mark Hughes making only eight Premier League substitute appearances last season, scoring once.

If the winger wants to continue his playing career, a step down into the Football League is the only really viable option. A move abroad certainly did not seem to work when he signed with Real Zaragoza for a year.

Knowing the club and fans at Elland Road would be a help, although Pennant would experience it having changed dramatically in the decade since his loan spell.

The 4-3-1-2 formation utilised by Neil Redfearn in the win against Bolton illustrated a lack of proven wingers in the squad in terms of depth, but also showed perhaps why Pennant would not be a priority for the club.

Yet in terms of his experience, and ability to offer an alternative off the bench, for the club to change their system and utilise him, Pennant could be of use. That is if he is determined to prove a point, and as yet, clubs across England are yet to be convinced he is their man.

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