WITH Leeds United completing a deal to sign Will Buckley on loan, we look at five key facts you will need to know about the winger.
1 He played at Wembley in his first season at Rochdale
Buckley made his first league appearance in Rochdale’s 4-2 home defeat against Hereford United on February 12, 2008 when coming on as a substitute. His first start for the club in a 1-0 defeat against Wycombe Wanderers on February 23 of that year. Buckley played at Wembley in that season as Rochdale made it to the League Two play-off final against Stockport County. Coming on as a 73rd-minute substitute, his side were already 3-1 down and eventually went on to lose 3-2. Buckley scored his first professional goal against Rotherham in September of the following season. After another defeat in the play-offs and 59 appearances for Rochdale, he was eventually sold to Watford in January 2010.
2 Brighton and Sunderland spent millions on him
Buckley signed for Brighton & Hove Albion for £1m on June 6, 2011 after playing just 39 times for the Hornets and scoring five goals. He played three full seasons on the south coast, tottinig up 96 appearances and scoring 19 goals. His form attracted a host of Premier League sides and eventually saw him snapped up by Sunderland in August 2014, for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £2.5m. Buckley has only played 22 games for the Black Cats and has yet to find the net.
3 Gus Poyet is a big fan
Former Leeds United assistant manager Poyet has signed Buckley twice, when in charge of Brighton and then again during his time at Sunderland. A knee injury curtailed his season last year as he made only two appearances after January 24. Poyet was sacked from the club in March and Buckley has since struggled to hold down a place in Dick Advocaat’s side.
4 Home hero
Buckley fired in both goals for Brighton as they came back to beat Doncaster Rovers in the very first match at the Amex Stadium. His late double has gone down in Seagulls folklore.
5 He can play for Ireland
The winger is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland through his grandfather, but he is yet to make a senior international appearance.