By Danny Laverty
When was the last time we were able to keep hold of one of our stars? Oh, that's right, we don't. But this year it's time for change, and a lot of change too. We're under new ownership, new management, and seemingly everyone at the club is moving in the same direction, the right direction.
In previous years, we have had a tendency of selling our best talent at the club, going all the way back to the 04/05 season when we were forced to sell the majority of our top players due to our financial difficulties. But moving onto recent years, the Jermaine Beckford era, the promotion winning season where we had plenty of quality players at the club to encourage and promote a return to The Promised Land. But of course, we had to go and sell them and even to this present day, we have been reluctant to try our best in an attempt to keep our best players.
The main stars that have departed the club since 2010:
Jermaine was a man very familiar to all defences in League 1 and he also played a highly significant role in our famous cup run in which we memorably defeated the scum 1-0 with Jermaine being the scorer. He was pivotal to our success that season and almost single handedly instigated our promotion with the goals he scored.
Max was a very capable wide man but he was often criticized for his bad temperament, but personally, I feel this was down to his fierce competitiveness and his hunger for the game. He was a very fast and tricky player who could perform consistently on either side of the pitch and ever since he moved on a player of his kind has been absent from the team.
Bradley was the technician of the team. He broke play up, created chances, and had a ferocious left foot. His passion for the game was always on full show and the thought of having a Bradley in the middle made you feel more secure.
Howson was the leader, creator, goalscorer, and really, the everything. The kid had the world at his feet and it was only a matter of time before he moved elsewhere. He used his sublime endurance to support the attack and also to help out at the back. He was a genius on the ball and his passing was exceptional.
Snoddy was a typical old fashioned winger who didn't have a lot of pace in his locker, but what he did have was brilliant ball control and a great touch. He took advantage of his assets brilliantly and not many full backs in the division were able to stop him. His set-pieces were excellent and his vision for the game was also of a very high standard.
Luciano was the most recent significant player to be sold. He had a special relationship with the Leeds faithful and was always influential both on and off the pitch. His tenure at Leeds saw him score 75 goals mostly down to his outstanding work ethic and his tendency to be in the right place at the right time. Becchio was also a great header of the ball and his hold-up play was excellent. He had the ability to bring other players into the game which proved key to any success which came in our way.
Looking ahead now and forgetting the bad in our past, only remembering the good, we, this season have a great opportunity to achieve highly, especially under a great manager in Brian McDermott and under owners who seem to be very honest and trustworthy.
We have great player assets at the club like Sam Byram, Ross McCormack, Dom Poleon and Chris Dawson. The development squad is also full of rich talent in the names of Alex Mowatt and Lewis Walters just to name a few.
If we can keep our best players and continue to produce players of that stature, who's to say that we won't relive our past and relish in the high demands of Premier League football. Every football fan has to admit, it's where we belong.