Warnock's embarrassing record shows Leeds United right to cash in?

Massimo Cellino 1

Massimo Cellino controversially sold Stephen Warnock from Leeds to Derby in January, but the left-back is yet to prove he made a mistake.

When Leeds owner Massimo Cellino decided to cash in on Stephen Warnock in January, there was understandable outcry among the support.

Warnock had been arguably the club's most consistent player over the first half of the season, and had even taken over the club captaincy from Jason Pearce.

He signed with promotion chasers Derby County, but the ex-Liverpool defender could not have imagined it could have gone worse than it has done. His statistics read as follows:

Appearances: 2

Minutes played: 47

Red cards: 1

Warnock had to wait over a month to make his debut for Derby, and when he did he was sent off in the first half of a match against Reading, having picked up two bookings.

Derby meanwhile have seen their automatic promotion charge falter, and are now battling just to secure a play-off spot, in fifth with eight placed Wolves just three points behind.

Cellino at the time told The Sun that a contract dispute was central to selling Warnock: "When a player is 30, they will only get a year-by-year contract — that is my rule. He is older, lives in Liverpool and refused to move to Leeds — and is often complaining. So I am happy for him."  

It proved an inspired decision from Leeds' perspective, with young defender Charlie Taylor stepping up to prove an integral part of Neil Redfearn's side.

This is not to write Warnock off, but simply state as it stands, it has not worked out and his record at Derby so far is somewhat embarrassing, as it is not reflective of the quality defender he is.

He is certainly a player Steve McClaren spoke highly of when he signed, telling the club website: "He is a solid and experienced defender who certainly strengthens our defensive options for the remaining months of the season.

“The next few months are going to be extremely important for us and it is vital to have a strong squad to call upon.”

With Derby struggling for form, it may be time to give Warnock a chance to help put his experience to good use and steady the Rams.

There is still time for him to turn it around and help Derby clinch promotion, and if he is playing in the Premier League next season, his switch will look far wiser from his perspective, even if from a Leeds angle any fears fans had upon his sale have quickly disappeared. 

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