If you ever want a reminder of how far Leeds United have come you’ve only got to look back over a short period in their 100-year history.
Leeds beat Crystal Palace on Monday evening to move into the top-half of the Premier League table. Nothing at Elland Road is taken for granted and a long-suffering fanbase is in debt to Marcelo Bielsa.
Bielsa is untouchable in West Yorkshire, but as we dive into the EFL archives we look at another South American who endured a very different spell at Elland Road.
Massimo Cellino’s chaotic spell as the club’s owner was kick-started with a hectic summer transfer window in 2014. The high-profile arrival came in the form of Adryan: a Brazilian playmaker dubbed the ‘New Zico‘.
It took Adryan time to bed in at Elland Road.
Dave Hockaday left before he managed to break into the side, Darko Milanic used him with caution and Neil Redfearn, ultimately, had faith in the club’s academy players rather than a flash in the pan Brazilian.
In the end, Adryan made 12 appearances for Leeds and registered two assists in an underwhelming loan that’s biggest talking point was a comical dive against Derby County.
What’s happened since?
A lot like at Leeds, Adryan has failed to match the hype that surrounded him earlier in his career.
Nantes was his destination after his Leeds spell was brought to an end, with Adryan then moving onto Flamengo for a period.
Sion were the next club to get their hands on the enigma that is Adryan, with the Swiss side managing to squeeze something out of his stubborn potential.
Between 2017 and 2019 he scored 14 goals in 38 Swiss Super League appearances, as well as featuring in the Europa League for Sion.
A loan move to Turkey with Kayserispor was brief and now the playmaker is on the books with Avaí FC in Brazil, still looking to unearth his potential on loan from Sion. His stats make grim reading and he’s failed to score or register an assist on his latest move.
Whether he’s got an eye on a Leeds side inspired by another Brazilian in Raphinha is unknown, but he cannot look back on his time at Elland Road fondly from a playing point of view.
A match made in hell, the polar opposite to Bielsa and Leeds.