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Selling Eric Cantona has to be Leeds’ biggest mistake ever

Leeds United are a club that often mess things up.

There’s a reason that ‘doing a Leeds’ is a popular saying amongst football fans, and that’s because the Yorkshire club have a history of misfortunes and making big blunders.

Leeds have got plenty wrong over the years, the appointment of David Hockaday, the plight of Paul Rachubka and every day of Peter Risdale’s ownership immediately spring to mind, but perhaps their biggest blunder ever came in 1992.

The Whites were the last team ever to win the old First Division, before it rebranded as the Premier League, but they were unable to build on that success, failing to finish in the top four for any of the first six Premier League seasons.

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To make matters that much worse, their biggest rivals were sweeping up all the silverware you could imagine, and the two club’s differing fortunes may have been down to one transfer that happened just a few months into the Premier League era.

The story goes that Bill Fotherby called up Manchester United to enquire about the availability of Denis Irwin, and after a lengthy chat the two clubs somehow agreed the transfer of Eric Cantona.

The Frenchman had scored six in 13 for Leeds to kick-off the season, so selling him looked like a bit of a mistake at the time, but nobody could have predicted just how much of a bad move this was.

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Cantona would go on to win four Premier League titles and two FA Cups with Manchester United, scoring 81 goals and setting up a further 61 in just 179 appearances for the Red Devils.

The chairman at Old Trafford at the time has since said that the striker ‘changed the history of the club’, and you can’t help but think what could have been had he stayed at Elland Road.

They sold a man who is now known as simply ‘the king’ by fans of the most successful team this country has ever seen, and that has to be considered the biggest blunder the Whites have ever made.

In other news, this Leeds man would have been a perfect fit under Don Revie.