Is Luke Murphy Leeds United's most improved player in 2016?

Elland Road East Stand

Luke Murphy has played an important role for Leeds over the past month.

Luke Murphy defied his doubters last season, becoming an important player under Neil Redfearn and earning a new deal.

His start to the 2015/16 season was ruined after he picked up a knee injury in pre-season, and the club signed Tom Adeyemi on loan to play in his position.

When Murphy did return, he struggled for form, and mid-season appointment Steve Evans decided the club's midfield options needed improving further, and signed Liam Bridcutt on loan.

In January when Leeds signed Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford, Murphy's prospects looked even bleaker.

Yet over the past month, he has shown that he is fighting for his future at the club, and has played an important role, on a couple of occasions being selected ahead of Diagouraga.

He netted in the recent loss against Rotherham, and provided an assist for Chris Wood to score against QPR this week, which could easily have turned out to be the winner.

Leeds have not won many games in 2016, but it is worth noting that the only two games Murphy has

played all 90 minutes in this calendar year, they were victorious, beating Bristol City 1-0 and Cardiff City 2-0 away from home.

Murphy's resilience has him battling for a first team spot, while loanee Adeyemi appears to be fading, and unlikely to be retained.

With Bridcutt's permanent intentions unclear, and Sunderland's too - with the Black Cats looking likely to be relegated - Murphy's return to form and relevance is welcome for Leeds, and the 26-year-old is likely to have an important role at the club next season too.

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