MIDFIELDER Adam Forshaw has become Leeds United’s most expensive player for over 16 years in joining the Whites from Middlesbrough in a deal worth £4.5m.
United have not spent as much on a player since signing fellow Liverpudlian Robbie Fowler for a whopping £11m from Liverpool in November 2001
Leeds have seen plenty of talented and eventually expensive players pass through their ranks since being relegated from the Premier Division in 2004 but Forshaw becomes the first player to cost over £4m.
Pontus Jansson previously became the club’s most expensive player since United’s Premier League days when turning his loan deal from Torino into a permanent move for £3.5m last summer.
Gjanni Alioski (£3.2m) and Samu Saiz (£3.1m) arrived for similar price tags, surpassing the fees paid for Kemar Roofe and Chris Wood who both joined the Whites for £3m.
But since the club’s relegation from the country’s top flight, the other obvious star men such as Ross McCormack, Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio were all picked up for bargains.
McCormack cost just £350,000 from Cardiff City with Becchio arriving for £300,000 from Merida.
Amazingly, United paid only a compensation fee of around £35,000 to net Snodgrass from Livingston while Jermaine Beckford proved another extremely shrewd purchase after joining from non league Wealdstone for less than £100,000.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel also joined from Notts County on a free while star winger Max Gradel cost only £250,000 with United undeniably finding the knack of unearthing bargains since 2004 after their free spending ways shortly after the turn of the millennium.
Free-spending ways that ultimately led to a sharp demise.
Fowler’s arrival came just one month after Seth Johnson had infamously joined from Derby County for £7m and the previous season saw United purchase Rio Ferdinand for £18m from West Ham United and Robbie Keane for £12m from Inter Milan.
The last player to sign for £4.5m was Michael Duberry from Chelsea in 1999-2000 though David Batty (£4.4m), Dominic Matteo (£4.25m) and Danny Mills (£4m) also arrived for similar amounts.
Lee Sharpe also joined for exactly £4.5m from Manchester United back in 1996-1997, a then club record.
Forshaw, United’s most expensive in over 16 years, will now look to prove himself another sharp acquisition.