Murphy has proven to be a very important player for Leeds’ midfield in recent games, but Ritchie has explained how he understood that the youngster was very close to leaving.
“The only surprise for me is that he’s back in the team in the first place, because from what I was hearing and reading, it did sound like his time at Leeds might be over,” he wrote for the local paper.
“They were obviously ready to let him go on loan in the last emergency window and I don’t imagine that he was expecting his chance to come again.”
“Personally, I think Murphy is a superb player. His range of passing is excellent and he’s someone who can set a bit of a rhythm to the play.”
Murphy is a very good example for other players in a similar position at Leeds that if they work hard enough, they will get a chance under current head coach Neil Redfearn.
Murphy deserves credit for keeping his head when he could easily have let a dip in morale control him and force his exit away from the club.
The challenge for him now is going to be how he can maintain his form over the next few weeks, with some important Championship games coming up for the team.
The break between games for Leeds, because of the FA Cup schedule, may have come at a good time for the midfielder because it allows him to reflect on the dramatic transformation which has happened in his short term career.
Neil Redfearn is experienced enough and clever enough to ensure that Murphy doesn’t get ahead of himself and also deserves credit for taking a risk and getting him into the team.
His performance against Bournemouth was superb and if his form continues, the Leeds midfield is going to be difficult to play against over the next few weeks.