Could releasing Scott Wootton come back to bite Leeds United, as it did with Tom Lees?

Leeds United

Lees has not looked back since leaving the Whites for Sheffield Wednesday.

A once hotly-tipped English centre-back has lost his way at Leeds United.

The Yorkshire Evening Post claims Scott Wootton will leave the club for nothing this summer, after it transpired the contract extension he signed in 2015 is void.

Once on the books of Liverpool and Manchester United, the 24-year-old represented his country at youth level, but has developed into a figure of ridicule in Yorkshire following a string of error-strewn displays - many while removed from his natural position.

According to many fans on Twitter, the £1 million signing will not be missed should the speculation prove accurate.

But his is situation that sounds awfully familiar.

Tom Lees many not have had the elite-club grounding of Wootton, nor did he cost Leeds a seven-figure fee. However, there were similar levels of hope for the Thorp Arch academy graduate, whose early displays landed him six caps for England's Under-21s.

Gradually, though, Lees' performances began to tail off, coinciding with the off-field uncertainty which surrounded the club.

Mistakes were frequent, as they were with many other United defenders throughout the 2013-14 campaign, and the Warwick-born Leeds-raised 23-year-old was made a scapegoat by some supporters.

Even those who opted not to berate Lees in public would not have been overly concerned when he was sold to Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed, reportedly nominal, fee in July 2014.

Almost two years on, Lees is a vastly different player to the one that was ushered out of Elland Road. Now 25, he is a pillar in a Wednesday side challenging for promotion via the Championship play-offs, having kept a club-record 17 clean sheets in each of the past two league campaigns.

Premier League sides Newcastle United, Sunderland, Norwich and West Brom were all linked with £7 million moves for Lees in recent months.

The former Bury loanee is a prime example of what a bit of stability, confidence and regular matches can do, and if he is to depart Leeds this summer, Wootton can take solace from that.

He too, could put United's decision-making to shame.

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