Injury nightmares, league titles, torn-up contracts and how Leeds United's 10 departures fared

-Credit: (Image: Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)


Upheaval is expected at Leeds United again this summer with a transfer window that reshapes the squad in Daniel Farke’s image ahead of another Championship campaign. Twelve months ago, everything was on pause while we waited for the outcome of the takeover talks between 49ers Enterprises and Aser Ventures.

That would kick an enormous quantity of cans down the road and leave Farke with an especially disruptive, last-gasp August to deal with at the back end of the transfer window. This time around it is hoped to be a far more orderly, proactive affair for the Whites.

The legion of players who departed on loan over the course of the past year has been well-documented. While some of those loanees will cease to be United players on July 1, the likes of Robin Koch and Luke Ayling are still, technically, on Elland Road’s books until then.

READ MORE: 'Sacrifice on other things' - Leeds United's transfer strategy may overlook areas for key priority

Amid the loans that were negotiated, there were 10 players who left the club permanently over the past 12 months. Here, we look back over how those players fared with their new clubs.

Tyler Roberts

It was a familiar tale of woe for Roberts last season after departing Leeds for Birmingham City as the first player out of the door in June 2023. The 25-year-old started for the Blues on the opening day of the season, but came off with an injury before full-time.

Roberts would not start again for another six months. He ended the campaign with 17 league appearances and no goals for the relegated outfit. With another three years on his contract, Birmingham will look for him to repay their faith by scoring regularly in League One.

Alfie McCalmont

After coming through the United youth system at Thorp Arch, McCalmont finally moved on for good last summer. The 24-year-old had played his part in winning promotion from League Two with Carlisle United, but then saw Paul Simpson’s side relegated straight back down.

McCalmont was a regular in the first half of a disappointing campaign, but saw himself fall out of favour after the January transfer window. There are some doubts whether he will even be kept on at Brunton Park in League Two next term.

Adam Forshaw

While Forshaw did ultimately make it back from his injury hell to play for Leeds again, he departed Elland Road at the expiry of his contract last summer. The 32-year-old had to wait until the end of the summer window to find a club, when David Wagner took him in at Norwich City.

Injuries would bite again though and he never got a good run in the side, making just four starts until his contract was terminated less than five months after he signed it. Plymouth Argyle took him on in January and eight of his 13 appearances would be starts.

Forshaw’s contract length was never disclosed by Home Park, so it’s unclear if he will return to play under fellow Liverpudlian and ex-Everton player Wayne Rooney. The Pilgrims escaped relegation on the final day and will face Leeds again next season.

Stuart McKinstry

The 21-year-old was another who left Elland Road upon the expiry of their contract last summer. It took a while for the Scot to find a new home, but he eventually settled north of the border with Queen’s Park in the second tier.

There were 20 appearances for McKinstry, including seven starts, but he is out of contract again this summer. The Glasgow outfit have offered him a new deal, but there is reported interest from Dunfermline Athletic, Partick Thistle and Carlisle, where former team-mate McCalmont is playing.

Joel Robles

Robles, who was Sam Allardyce’s goalkeeper of choice for the 2023 run-in, was the third of the players to leave for free last summer. He was one of the many European names to head to Saudi Arabia, but Robles went to the second tier with Al-Qadsiah, who began the campaign with Robbie Fowler at the helm.

The Liverpool legend was gone within four months, but Robles went on to play a key role between the sticks as his Saudi side won the second-tier title to secure promotion to the top flight.

Rodrigo

Rodrigo was one of the few players to come away from relegation with any credit in the bank at Elland Road because of the goals he continued to score, in a poor team. It was never likely he would stick around in England’s second tier, however, and he was another of the European names to head to the Middle East.

Rodrigo turfed up in Qatar rather than Saudi Arabia, however, with Al-Rayyan. Rodrigo’s new side finished second in Qatar Stars League and he has another two years to run on his contract out there, which would take him to 35-years-old.

Tyler Adams

The hamstring injury Adams suffered before the 2023 run-in was arguably one of the key factors in United’s relegation. The American had been one of the stars of the season for the Whites and losing him for so many crucial games made life very hard.

Sadly, his exit was one of the more acrimonious last summer. A continued issue with his hamstring limited his appeal to many clubs until the 11th hour of the summer window when Bournemouth eventually coughed up more than £20m for him.

Adams’s hamstrings would blight his first season in Dorset, however, perhaps underlining how useful it was for Leeds to get those wages off the books. The 25-year-old would make one start all season and only get four appearances.

Luis Sinisterra

Memorably, he began the season in the second tier with Leeds before going on strike and then returning with Wilfried Gnonto to make up with fans at Portman Road. At lunchtime on deadline day, Daniel Farke was quietly confident there would be no further surprises in the transfer window.

By 11pm, Sinisterra was in London to force through a Bournemouth loan move. That became permanent on February 9. The Colombian has had a lot more joy than Adams at Dean Court, but injuries have limited Sinisterra too.

He featured 20 times in the Premier League and scored twice, but only started twice in the league after February 10 because of injuries, which also limited his playing time with the Whites too.

Leo Hjelde

Hjelde began last season as a legitimate left-back option Farke was open to using in a problem position, but each of his three August appearances brought causes for concern and he never played for the Whites again. Sunderland took him permanently at the end of the January window and he racked up 10 starts before the end of the season.

However, Hjelde only started one of the last eight league games and reports on Wearside suggest he faces an almighty battle to win over the incoming new manager.

Jack Jenkins

Like McCalmont, Jenkins came through the youth system, was looped into the first-team picture by Marcelo Bielsa, but eventually fell by the wayside and took far too long to get a move away from Elland Road. FC Halifax Town finally took him away from Leeds permanently in January and he looks set for a first full season as a key player in the National League for the Shaymen.