Leeds United: The top debut goals in recent Whites history

Alan Smith.
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Mustapha Carayol got his Leeds career going in the best way possible on Saturday, opening the scoring in the FA Cup third round match against Rotherham United.

The 27-year-old’s strike was brilliant. He combined well with Charlie Taylor down the left before the young full-back cut the ball back to him on the edge of the area. Carayol then shifted inside before rocketing it past Lee Camp.

Who else has announced themselves at Elland Road in such an exceptional manner?

We have looked back over the last 20 years and picked the top six top debut goals from a total of 11 in a white shirt:

Billy Sharp (v Middlesbrough, August 16, 2014)

The Dave Hockaday era seems like a bizarre fever dream in retrospect, a feeling added to by the fact that he managed a victory over promotion candidates Middlesbrough in his six game spell. Billy Sharp signed for the club only days prior and made the perfect start, smashing the ball in from only yards out in the last minute to secure three points.

Luke Murphy (v Brighton and Hove Albion, August 3, 2013)

Optimism was the word of the day as Brighton and Hove Albion visited Elland Road. Ownership changes had given people reason to be cheerful, not least because of Leeds’ first £1 million signing in eight years. Luke Murphy introduced himself in the perfect manner, latching on to Matt Smith’s knock down and sending the ball into the back of the net with one of the last kicks of the game to win the tie.

Rob Hulse (v Reading, February 12, 2005)

Rob Hulse joined Leeds on loan from West Brom, choosing the Whites ahead of a mooted £1.2 million move to Stoke City. His debut against Reading could not have gone much better - he scored a stunning brace with both goals coming from outside the area as Leeds won 3-1. Eventually made a permanent £1.1 million switch to Elland Road.

Alan Smith (v Liverpool, November 14, 1998)

There was considerable hype surrounding the Thorp Arch product before he made his Leeds bow. Alan Smith was an England youth international, and there was hope he could make a difference when introduced from the bench against Liverpool. What a difference he made, scoring with his first touch in front of the Kop end to immediately make himself a Whites hero.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (v Arsenal, August 9, 1997)

Signed from Boavista for only £2 million in the summer, it is fair to say Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was something of an unknown quantity at Elland Road when he stepped out for his debut against Arsenal. It did not take him long to introduce himself, scoring as Leeds put together a 1-1 draw against the eventual champions.

Lee Bowyer (v Derby County, August 17, 1996)

Lee Bowyer became England’s most expensive teenager ever when he joined the Whites from Charlton for £2.8 million. His debut at the Baseball Ground saw him contribute two goals. The opener was the result of one of his crosses, deflected into the back of the net by a Derby defender. Leeds’ third saw him dash onto a flick on before firing it into the back of the Rams net to open his account for the Whites.

Have your own favourite over Leeds’ entire history? Why not put it in the comments below?

Thomas Christiansen

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