16 years since £18m deal, West Ham take revenge on Leeds United

Rio Ferdinand Signing

The tables have turned for West Ham United and Leeds United.

West Ham clinched the signing of Sam Byram this week, luring the 22-year-old away from boyhood club Leeds United.

Byram took the opportunity to play for a club offering him a better footballing opportunity, with West Ham successfully turning the tables on Leeds regarding an infamous deal 16 years earlier.

It was in November 2000 that Leeds splashed out £18 million on centre-back Rio Ferdinand, tempting him away from the club whose academy he had risen through as a youngster.

At that time Leeds were the club pushing on towards a big future, and briefly, it seemed to work. More spending followed, with success on the pitch taking them to the Champions League semi-finals.

Within three years the project had imploded and Ferdinand was sold to Manchester United. Leeds were relegated soon after and have not regained their place in the Premier League since.

Now it is West Ham who have ambition of jostling with the big boys, ready to move into their new Olympic Stadium next season, and set to benefit from increased television revenue.

Finally they have taken a sort of revenge on Leeds, by luring Byram away, and the Yorkshire side will hope the deal is not as damaging as it was to the Hammers.

While West Ham netted a sizeable fee for Ferdinand, his sale was the first in an exodus of bright academy players including Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson, who all went on to become England internationals.

They were relegated to the Championship a year before Leeds' demise, except they were able to bounce straight back up.

Leeds will hope Byram's departure is not reminiscent of Ferdinand's. Their first team boasts Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, both England youth internationals, as well as the impressive Charlie Taylor, while Kalvin Phillips and Lewie Coyle are already making in roads into the first team.

The Whites are in a weaker position than West Ham were when Ferdinand was sold to them in 2000, but if the lessons of that deal teach anything, it's that unfortunately the worst may yet be to come.

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