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‘Class signing, well done Massimo’ – Big things were expected from this man at Leeds but it wasn’t meant to be



After a disappointing season that saw three different managers take control of the first team, Leeds United were hoping for a more stable year heading into the start of the 2015/16 campaign.

Uwe Rosler was appointed in the summer of 2015 tasked with restoring glory to Elland Road and getting the club back in the hunt for a Premier League place.

That target began in earnest during the summer as he looked to recruit players to do what he was entrusted to do.

Seven players arrived to replace the 13 that had left at the end of the previous year before an eighth and final summer singing arrived on September 1, 2015.

It was a deadline day deal that saw Leeds snap up then 22-year-old forward Jordan Botaka from Dutch side Excelsior on a two-year contract. 

The move drew plaudits from the Leeds faithful who were impressed with the signing and were anticipating big things from the young Congo DR winger.

Botaka made his debut in the 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough and two more losses later, Rosler was sacked and replaced with Steve Evans.

After initially becoming a bit part player at Leeds under the new boss, Evans had questioned Botaka’s work-rate.

The winger then impressed in training and came back into the team towards the end of the season.

On April 24, 2016, after gaining an assist for Stuart Dallas in a 2–2 draw against Hull, on his return to form, Botaka credited his performances on to wanting to prove Evans earlier season criticism wrong.

The winger made 13 Championship appearances for Leeds registering just that solitary assist in what was a frustrating season which included only three starts.

And at the end of the 2015/16 campaign when Leeds finished 13th, it was all change again for the club and the player.

Garry Monk was appointed, and Botaka left the club on loan.

On August 11, 2016, he moved to League One Charlton Athletic on a season-long deal.

And the reaction to his temporary departure was one of hope. Hope that he would be able to play regularly and start to show his potential upon returning to Elland Road the following campaign.

The 2016/17 campaign was more productive for the young winger who made 29 appearances for Charlton and scored twice as the Addicks finished 13th in the third tier of English football.

Leeds fans were hopeful of a return to the club for Botaka despite his contract due to end.

And on May 17, 2017, his future was made clear. 

Having made just 13 appearances for Leeds over two years, Botaka was released.

His departure was much to the dismay of many of the club’s supporters upon seeing the news.

The initial reaction to his arrival was positive but having been given little chance to prove his worth, and spending his final year out on loan, it was a move that failed to work out, as much as the supporters had wished it would.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Class signing, well done Massimo’ – Big things were expected from this man at Leeds but it wasn’t meant to be

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