Former player Richard Cresswell comments on 'dream come true' move to Leeds United

The striker cost over £1 million from Preston North End in 2005.

Leeds United are still a team suffering from the excesses of the Peter Risdale era. In their hunt for regular Champions League football the club nearly went bust and nowadays they do not spend the type of money that saw the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler and Robbie Keane play for the club.

In fact, they rarely pay over £1 million for players these days.

Luke Murphy cost seven figures in 2013 but prior to that it is Richard Cresswell who holds the mantle as Leeds' most expensive player of the last decade. He cost £1.15 million from Preston North End in August 2005, according to Sky Sports.

That is the most Leeds have paid for a player since splashing out over £2 million on Nicky Barmby of Liverpool in August 2002.

Cresswell's time at Leeds was unfortunately forgettable. He suffered with injury problems throughout his time at Elland Road and left when they were relegated to League One in 2007. Now a coach at York City he has spoken to the Yorkshire Evening Post about his time at Leeds, and that price-tag:

“I was a massive Leeds United fan. My old man was too busy to take me when I was young, but I was still a fan. They are a massive club and the sort you can support even if you don’t see them.

“I was at Preston and the chance to come to Leeds was just a dream come true. I was never going to turn that down...playing for Leeds leaves its stamp on you and I was honoured to play.

“I scored 21 goals that previous season and Preston got to a play-off final and there were rumours, but it was a case of whether Leeds had the money.

“But the club put their money down and I got a call off Mr [Ken] Bates and he asked me how much I wanted to play for Leeds and it was a good type of conversation asking why I wanted to come.

“It was a big fee paid by Leeds and I don’t think they’ve paid much more than that for a player since.”

Leeds' dream of returning to the top-flight of English football might soon have to incorporate a break in their new tradition of frugality.

The fact that Cresswell remains their most expensive signing of the past 13 years highlights just how bad the financial situation once was at the club.

It won't be long before someone comes along and costs more than Cresswell. When that time comes, Leeds fans will hope he can have more of an impact than the former Preston man did at Elland Road.

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