Leeds United’s team of the early 2000s is full of players we could spend all day fawning over.
Rio Ferdinand is one of the greatest defenders this country has ever produced, Lucas Radebe has captained Leeds more times than any other player, Mark Viduka was nigh-on unplayable on his day, while not many could match Lee Bowyer for heart and desire.
However, two players that don’t quite get the credit they deserve are Ian Harte and Gary Kelly.
The Irish pairing were driving their team forward from the back before it was fashionable, and the club haven’t quite had a pairing as good as those two since.
Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling are brilliant in their own right, but when you consider that Kelly and Harte had key roles to play in Leeds consistently challenging the top four, it’s hard to envisage them surpassing Harte and Kelly’s achievements, especially as they’re both closing in on their 30th birthdays.
Luckily, the next generation could see two fresh full-backs take up the mantle, and if they reach their potential, they could be United’s best pairing since the two Irishmen.
Indeed, Leif Davis and Cody Drameh are both developing at Leeds, and they look like they could be the perfect modern full-backs.
Davis’ talent has already been seen by Leeds fans as he’s made a dozen appearances for the first-team, earning all sorts of plaudits along the way, being tracked by Liverpool and compared to Gareth Bale, which is some of the highest praise you can get as an attacking left-back.
If Davis and Drameh reach their perceived potential they could realistically be United’s full-back pairing for the next decade, and if they manage to break through while Marcelo Bielsa is still at Elland Road that will be even more exciting, considering how forward-thinking the Argentine is with his use of full-backs.