Under the ownership of Massimo Cellino, Leeds United were not exactly a club known for their business acumen in the transfer market, with the Italian signing a number of players who were simply not good enough to get the Whites out of the Championship.
Furthermore, the 66-year-old also decided to cash in on a number of the club’s homegrown talents, with the likes of Lewis Cook, Sam Byram and Alex Mowatt all being moved on to pastures new during the Italian’s tumultuous three-year tenure at Elland Road.
Considering just how impressive a career the latter of this aforementioned trio has enjoyed since his £522k move to Barnsley in January 2017, Cellino’s decision to part with the former England under-20 international looks to have been something of a shocker.
Indeed, after impressing over his 125 appearances for the Whites, scoring 13 goals and registering 13 assists in all competitions, the forward-thinking midfielder continued his eye-catching form in the final third after sealing his move to Oakwell.
Over his 162 outings for the Tykes, the 27-year-old scored 20 goals and provided a further 23 assists. His best campaign for Barnsley undoubtedly came in 2020/21, when the £6.3m-rated talent scored eight goals, registered seven assists and created nine big chances over his 46 Championship games.
Not only did these returns see the player who former West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael dubbed “massive” average a SofaScore match rating of 7.10 – ranking him as Barnsley’s best performer in the league – they also played a key role in helping the Tykes secure an impressive fifth-place finish in the second-tier that season, ultimately losing out to Swansea City in the play-off semi-finals.
A 2021 move to West Brom would follow for the £13k-per-week midfielder, and Mowatt scored four goals and provided two assists in 34 Championship appearances last season for the Baggies before joining Middlesbrough on a season-long loan deal this summer.
As such, considering his impressive returns after securing a move away from Elland Road, coupled with the fact that the 27-year-old currently boasts a market valuation which is 1,107% larger than the fee for which Cellino sold him in 2017, it is clear to see that the Italian well and truly had a shocker in sanctioning Mowatt’s departure.