Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph says that Leeds United made him the player he is today.
The England international impressed for the Three Lions again versus Lithuania this Friday, and has been speaking to The Telegraph about his career so far.
Delph forged his reputation at Elland Road and was controversially sold by then chairman Ken Bates to Aston Villa in 2009.
Injuries and a struggle adjusting to the Premier League have made it a slow transition but the central midfielder is beginning to live up to his potential.
Delph maintains he never wanted to leave Leeds, even if financial circumstances at the time led to pressure within the Yorkshire club to selling.
He said: "At the time I didn’t want to leave. I love the club. I’m a Leeds fan. It was best for both of us that I moved on, financially for the club and me for my development.”
The midfielder says that his time at Leeds was essential for his development, and credits former boss Dennis Wise for his impact on preparing him for the physical rigours of the Football League.
"They (training sessions) did get quite tasty. Dennis Wise was the manager. I did tackle him and he tackled me back. He was great with me, gave me my debut at Leeds. I am ever so grateful to him."
Delph signed a new contract to stay at Aston Villa earlier in the season, but had he been sold at any point, old side Leeds would have been entitled to a sell-on clause.