Leeds United: Five things you should know about Mustapha Carayol

Mustapha Carayol. PIC: Andrew Varley
Mustapha Carayol. PIC: Andrew Varley
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Leeds United have signed Mustapha Carayol, the 27-year-old Middlesbrough winger, on loan until the end of the season. Here are five things you should know about him...

Nomadic career

Carayol has spent his whole career in England with Leeds becoming his tenth club as a professional. Paul Ince, while at Swindon, spotted the player as a trainee then gave him a similar role at Macclesfield - and later signed him for Milton Keynes as a professional. Carayol has since played for Crawley Town (loan), Torquay United, Kettering Town, Lincoln City, Bristol Rovers, Middlesbrough, Brighton (loan) and, most recently, Huddersfield (loan).

Managerial fall-out

Middlesbrough’s head coach Aitor Karanka dropped Carayol - ironically for a match against Leeds - in February last year and admitted that he was not happy with the player’s attitude. Carayol was told not to train in the build-up to that match after an argument between the pair. The player had been in decent form at the time of the incident. He has only played in three games for Middlesbrough since then.

Gambia cap

Carayol was born in Banjul, the capital of Gambia, and has won one cap for them, playing in a 1-1 draw against Uganda in June last year. The winger has said that it caused much excitement for his family who are from there. Before winning his cap, he had not committed himself to Gambia, despite the African nation’s attempts to name him in their squad. He had been eligible for both Gambia and England, having been raised in London.

Cruciate problem

A cruciate knee ligament injury kept him out for 13 months. Carayol suffered the problem during a 0-0 draw at Bournemouth in March 2014, when he had to be stretchered off the pitch. After recovering from the blow, he was sent out on loan to Brighton, playing five games in April 2015, and - with his deal at Middlesbrough set to expire that summer - he was subsequently given a two-year extension to his contract with the Yorkshire club.

Ambition fulfilled

When he was a youngster, he told his friends that his aim was to become a Championship player by the age of 24 - and he only just made it, when Tony Mowbray signed him for Middlesbrough in May 2013. At the time, he said that he would not have guessed that he would end up playing for a club as big as Middlesbrough. He joined the Yorkshire club, having impressed on the whole for Bristol Rovers.