Leeds United sanctioned a handful of surprise sales this summer, with three players all ending up at the same Championship rival.
While there is no question that the sales of Pontus Jansson and Kemar Roofe were the ones that caught Leeds fans by the most surprise this summer, they were not the only players to catch the Elland Road faithful off-guard by leaving during the most recent window.
Despite Marcelo Bielsa taking the Whites to the brink of promotion to the Premier League, the club undertook a fairly significant overhaul of their squad, and a number of fringe players and youngsters were allowed to leave.
In fact, three of those all ended up at the same club, with Aapo Halme, Mallik Wilks and Clarke Oduor all joining Barnsley ahead of their return to the second tier.
While the trio only boasted a handful of appearances between them for Leeds before their departures, each of their exits prompted plenty of debate amongst the fans, with some feeling that they each had a role to play for the Whites in the future.
Wilks was outstanding during a loan spell with Doncaster Rovers last season, while Halme had played a number of times for the first-team as injuries stretched the squad last term. Oduor meanwhile, made his senior debut last season and was involved in Bielsa’s pre-season plans.
Leeds are, so far, not ruing the decision to let the three men go. They sit third while the Tykes have not won since the opening day of the campaign and sit one place and one point above the bottom three.
But the trio go into the international break knowing that they will soon have a fantastic chance to prove a point to their former club as Leeds travel to Oakwell in their first game back.
Wilks has played in all six of Barnsley’s league games so far, while Halme made his first league start in their final clash before the break. Oduor is awaiting his debut for the club, but has been on the bench for the last two games.
Bielsa confirmed after Oduor’s departure that he wanted the youngster to stay at Leeds, but felt it would be unfair to not given him the choice to leave when he is not going to play as often as he would like (via Leeds Live).
It would not be a huge surprise if he had similar thoughts about both Halme and Wilks. So he will be well aware that they have the quality to prove a point when they meet next weekend.
He will not be kicking himself therefore, if they do impress. But that may not stop the trio looking to put in the kind of performance that leaves some wondering if they could have been good enough for more prominent roles than they would have had had they stayed with Bielsa’s men.