MLS star Lloyd Sam reveals how Warnock conversation led to Leeds exit in 2012

New York Red Bulls

Lloyd Sam left Leeds in 2012, but is now starring in the United States.

New York Red Bulls winger Lloyd Sam has told Four Four Two that a conversation with Neil Warnock led to him leaving Leeds United.

Sam, 30, is a regular for the Red Bulls, featuring alongside former Southampton striker Bradley Wright-Phillips in Major League Soccer.

Sam, a former England Under-20 international, has rebuilt his career in the States, but has now looked back on his time at Leeds United.

The wide man - who was born in Leeds - joined his hometown club upon their promotion from League One to the Championship in 2010, arriving from Charlton Athletic; the team Leeds pipped to second place in the 2009/10 season.

His first season at Elland Road saw him score three goals in 20 games, but he became a bit-part figure in his second season, especially when manager Neil Warnock was hired in place of Simon Grayson.

Sam was farmed out on loan to Notts County and despite scoring five goals in two games, Sam was told he was no longer needed at Elland Road - and decided to try his hand in America with the Red Bulls.

"I'd played 10 games at Notts County, scoring five goals and making a few assists. I thought I'd be coming straight back to Leeds and the Championship," said Sam.

"But Neil Warnock said he wanted to bring some of his own guys in. Fair enough. I still wanted another season in the Championship, but some of the offers that were coming in weren't what I wanted. I was on holiday in Dubai when I got the call about the Red Bulls. It sounded interesting; it was the first time I'd thought about leaving the country," he added.

With 14 goals in 80 games, Sam is enjoying his football again in MLS - and whilst it must have hurt to be released by your hometown club, it helped Sam rebuild his career and become a key player in New York.

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