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Leeds United haven’t been spending the big bucks on star players for many years now. It is quite telling that a club so successful and with such a rich history still hasn’t broken their club transfer record that was set back in the season 2000/01.
The legendary Rio Ferdinand who was bought by the club in that year for an incredible fee of £23.4m from West Ham United back then is the Whites’ biggest ever acquisition, even 20 years after the deal was sealed. Of course, the very next campaign, Leeds United were once again in the market for marquee signings, this time bringing in Robbie Keane from Inter for a reported fee of £16.2m and Robbie Fowler from Liverpool for £15.1m.
Interestingly enough, Helder Costa’s move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, that’s on the books for 2020/21 and will cost the Premier League side £15.9m, is only expensive enough to slot into third place behind Keane and Ferdinand.
But of course, Ferdinand wouldn’t stay at Leeds United for too long, making an even bigger switch to Manchester United in 2002/03, making the Whites quite a profit with his £41.4m transfer fee, which is still their biggest piece of business to date.
That transfer shattered the former record and then some as the second-highest departure from the club belongs to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who moved to Atletico Madrid for £15m back in 1999/20.
The closest they’ve come since then has been with Chris Wood’s transfer to Burnley for £14.7m in 2017/18, their third-highest in the history of the club, but even that is a far cry from Ferdinand’s incredible fee.
We all know Diego Maradona was close to signing for Leeds United back in the day but even with many other famous failed transfers the Whites have on their books, there were still some historic players to don their colours.
Of course, we simply have to mention Ferdinand once again who is a record holder in both the incoming and the outgoing categories at the club and his fees were historical for Leeds in all respects. A similar thing could be said for Keane and Fowler with both transfers being quite famous in their regard.
And we simply mustn’t forget the likes of Gordon Strachan, Don Revie or Bobby Collins, all of whom were incredibly successful signings and really important for the history of the club. Of course, there are more like Lucas Radebe, Olivier Dacourt, Mark Viduka or Nigel Martyn, which tells you enough about the sheer size of Leeds United.