Strong rumours persist that Brazilian youngster Adryan will not be captured on a permanent contract by Leeds, so what will Leeds fans remember him for?
Leeds president Massimo Cellino struck a complex deal to bring 20-year-old Adryan to England after his loan at Cagliari from Flamengo was cut short. After much publicity Leeds fans were excited about the prospect of seeing the player dubbed 'the next Zico', but it has proved a difficult season for Adryan and it now appears unlikely that Leeds will take the option of paying £3 million to turn his season-long loan into a permanent deal.
Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay tweeted the following on Tuesday
Another person who'll almost certainly leave Leeds is Adryan. I'm told that Cellino has no intention of paying the option fee for him. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 7, 2015
Now Leeds fans are left to reflect on a deal that seemed too good to be true last summer, and that has indeed turned out to be the case. Adryan has sparkled briefly at Elland Road, but has had little material impact, too often being involved in near-misses or action that looked great but didn't really amount to anything.
If Adryan is to leave Elland Road in the summer, are these the five things Leeds fans will remember most?
1. That Rotherham substitute cameo
After months of contract negotiations and a fast-track pre-season fitness programme the much-touted Adryan made his first appearance in a Leeds shirt in a 2-1 defeat at Rotherham in October. Introduced as a 63rd-minute substitute Adryan single-handedly laid siege on the Rotherham goal, hitting the post and forcing a fine save from Millers 'keeper Adam Collin. Alas, it amounted to nothing as Leeds slumped to defeat, but the Leeds fans were purring about Adryan afterwards.
2. That Blackpool goal
A 3-1 win over lowly Blackpool saw probably the best team goal Leeds have scored this season, and Adryan was at the heart of it. Undoubtedly his most effective moment on the pitch saw him exchange a slick passing move with Sam Byram and Mirco Antenucci before racing 40 yards forward with the ball and feeding French striker Souleymane Doukara, who slotted home a neat finish.
3. That Derby dive
Few people inside Elland Road on November 29th 2014 will forget the outrageous play-acting that Adryan indulged in following an innocuous challenge from a Derby defender. Few of the millions who have seen the clip on social media since will forget it either, as the dive went viral and ensured Adryan became world famous in a comical instant. Sadly, nobody will remember the adept piece of skill that beat a defender with an audacious drag-back only seconds earlier.
4. That Fulham miss
Leeds were trailing 1-0 to Ross McCormack's Fulham in December 2014 as Billy Sharp swung a late cross into the Fulham box. Visiting 'keeper Gabor Kiraly was hopelessly lost and misjudged the ball leaving the onrushing Adryan with a gaping goal in which to nod a priceless equaliser. The Brazilian starlet could only glance a weak header wide of the open target, as Elland Road collectively groaned and Leeds slipped ever-closer to the bottom three.
5. That Yorkshire Evening Post interview
With Leeds resurgent under Neil Redfearn in 2015, people had questioned Adryan's absence even from the subs' bench. To most fans it was quite clear; Leeds were in a hole and required battle-hardened Championship nous. It worked and Leeds surged towards mid-table safety, but in March Adryan answered fans' queries over his absence via a Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP) interview which quoted him as saying "I'm very sad". On the same day LUTV ran a similar interview with the 20-year-old and a still image - depicting an almost-tearful Adryan - was combined with his YEP quote to produce what may well become Adryan's defining image in most Leeds fans' eyes, as his hard luck story was seized upon by social media.