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Leeds United's latest hero Toumani Diagouraga explains how Dave Hockaday brought him to England

The Frenchman was signed by Watford under Hockaday's recommendation.

Leeds United take on Watford later today and for the club's midfield duo it will be a return to old hunting grounds.

Liam Bridcutt spent time on loan at the club from Chelsea in the 2008-09 season. Meanwhile his defensive midfield partner and fellow Leeds United newbie Toumani Diagouraga began his English football career at the club.

The 28-year-old was plucked away from Paris Saint-Germain as a teenager and spent five years with Watford before leaving for Hereford United in 2008.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post he has now revealed it was in fact a former Leeds United boss who discovered him at Vicarage Road. Massimo Cellino favourite Dave Hockaday:

“It was Dave Hockaday who found me in Paris.

“He was working for Watford at the time and recommended me. The club had been recommended a lot of players so they staged a trial match for all of us and I was invited along.

“There were lots of players there and I was put in the Under-17s game. But, after 20 minutes, they told me to come off and go join the Under-19s instead.

“I played in a more attacking role than I do now – and I can’t remember if I scored or not. But things did go well and I was invited to Watford for two months. After that, they offered me scholarship forms. It was a proud moment.”

Hockaday was of course a shock appointment from Leeds at the start of last season but did not last long. He was fired after six games after a struggling start to the campaign.

Prior to that he was however a highly respected youth team coach and scout, spending seven years at Watford, and Diagouraga is clearly indebted to the Leeds managerial flop for his English football career.

Diagouraga will now be hoping to dump his former team out of the FA Cup this afternoon.

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