Did you know, four England capped midfielders all joined Leeds on loan in recent years? Not that any of them impressed to a great degree.
Leeds United Chairman Massimo Cellino
With owners changing hands almost as quickly as their managers, it only makes sense that Leeds United's playing staff would change on an almost monthly basis.
From future England stars to local lads, Leeds have utilisied the loan market impressively over the years. But who makes up their temporary XI?
2013-14: 16 games
He may be England’s number one-in waiting, but Butland’s consistency was yet to match his class when he arrived at Elland Road after failing to displace Asmir Begovic at Stoke City. Despite winning the Man of the Match award on his debut, a goalless draw with Middlesbrough, the prodigious shot-stopper conceded 28 goals in his remaining 14 games at Leeds.
2016-17: 6 games, 0 goals
‘Pontus Jansson’s magic, he’s got a magic hat. And if you throw a brick at him he’ll head the [customary expletive] back.’
Leeds fans have a new cult-hero. The iron-headed Swede, on loan from Torino, represents a dramatic step up from Sol Bamba, with many already proclaiming him Leeds’ most inspired signing in recent memory. So much so, that Simon from local rockers the Kaiser Chiefs, named after the debut club of legendary captain Lucas Radebe, suggested the band rename themselves Torino.
2010-11: 5 games, 0 goals
Although midfielder by trade, absences and injuries have forced the former Tottenham youngster to step in alongside Curtis Davies for Hull City recently. And it’s worked rather well for the most part.
Certainly a lot better than his forgettable stint at Leeds anyway. Making just five appearances, Livermore was subbed at half-time in a particularly disastrous performance against Reading.
2011-12: 3 games, 0 goals
Like his fellow Spurs graduate Livermore, flying full-back Adam Smith was sent on loan to Leeds in the second half of the season. And, like his fellow Spurs graduate Livermore, things didn’t go quite as either club intended.
Simon Grayson, who scrapped to secure to young full-backs signature in January, was sacked a day after his arrival. Now a presence of full-blooded attacking intent on the Bournemouth flank, the versatile Smith certainly hasn’t let the experience hold him back.
2011-12: 6 games, 1 goal
Despite amassing 11 England caps and transfer fees adding up to over £20 million in 2016 alone, Andros Townsend retains that propensity to underwhelm and exhilarate in equal measure. Leeds fans know that better than most.
After a Man of the Match performance, and goal, on his Whites debut, Townsend switched to Birmingham City just a few weeks later, his agent claiming he was ‘unhappy’ at Elland Road.
2012-13: 4 games, 0 goals
Spending just a month at Elland Road from January 2013, Leeds fans never got much chance to witness the barnstorming prodigy in full-flow. Just over a year later, Barkley was at the peak of his powers, scoring wondergoals on an almost weekly basis and driving Roberto Martinez into cliché-overload.
How much credit Leeds can take from that remains questionable.
2011-12: 5 games, 0 goals
They’re a loyal bunch, the Yorkshire folk. No matter where life might take them, nothing beats the comfort of home. And, after struggling to make the grade following his big-money arrival at Aston Villa, Fabian Delph returned to his roots in a bid to recapture the form that made him one of the most desired players in the lower leagues.
Injury cut short his second spell, however, and Leeds fans may have a while to wait before Delph dons the Yorkshire white again.
2010-11: 7 games, 0 goals
Pedro. Xavi. Andres Iniesta. Three of the greatest players of the modern era, individuals who have won almost every trophy available in the game. Barry Bannan won the 2010 Championship play-off final with Blackpool. Yet, that didn’t stop then Aston Villa manager comparing the Scottish scheme to the Spanish trio as he aimed to rise through the ranks at Villa.
He didn’t of course, though Bannan has still carved out a respectable career at Sheffield Wednesday. He is, however, another promising player who failed to prove his worth at Elland Road.
2016-17: 11 games, 1 goal
60 million euros. That is how much Sporting Lisbon value Hadi Sacko. Leeds, then, could consider themselves rather fortunate to have the 22-year-old in their ranks for the upcoming campaign. His Wikipedia page proclaims Sacko ‘the nutmeg king’. Well, there’s certainly been worse names bandied around Elland Road in recent years.
2009-10: 8 games, 1 goal
The road to the top was long and winding for Sam Vokes. Despite netting stunners against Liverpool in the Premier League and Belgium at Euro 2016, the Welsh targetman will still not have forgotten the vast array of temporary spells that added vital experience to the potential.
One goal in eight games for Leeds hardly hints at a prolific centre-forward, but Vokes’ spell in Yorkshire helped hone his battling qualities and lower-league nous.
2013-14: 5 games, 0 goals
It seems an awfully long time since Sunderland beat off a host of interested parties to secure the services of one of English football’s most exciting talents from Ipswich Town. A huge transfer fee, an ever bigger reputation, it’s little wonder Leeds fans expected goals when Conor Wickham rocked up on loan in 2013.
Inevitably, none arrived. And, to make matters worse, Wickham netted in Sheffield Wednesday’s 6-0 thrashing of Leeds to cap a somewhat more impressive loan spell.
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