Leeds United were positioned quite nicely in the chasing pack after 28 matches in the 2012/13 Championship campaign.
Neil Warnock had a settled side and an in-form striker ahead of the January transfer window closing and the Whites setting their sights on a late play-off push.
They were by no means to be discounted from entering the post-season lottery having won 12 and drawing five of their 28 matches.
But all was not well in the camp at Elland Road.
Amidst reports that Luciano Becchio was a target for Premier League side Norwich City, things at the Yorkshire club would take a dark twist.
On January 24, 2013, a cold, sunny day in Yorkshire, the outlook over the famous Elland Road stadium was anything but.
Fans’ favourite Becchio shocked the entire Leeds world, and indeed many in the Championship when the club announced that the Argentinian had handed in a transfer request.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 24, 2013
Having scored 19 goals before the document being submitted, Leeds’ fans reacted with disbelief and directed most of their disdain to the club’s hierarchy and unleashed their feelings on the running of the club.
@LUFC would be absolutely shattering if he left. Such a great player for us
— Osama ???? (@ozzieh10) January 25, 2013
@LUFC greed. Simple as that
— Kris Thompson (@KickingKKris) January 24, 2013
@LUFC this football club is a joke, can't keep the good players we already have, and can't sign good players we need.
— Dan (@ItsDanbob) January 24, 2013
@LUFC not impressed. This club shows no ambition. We need to spend money to show the players we mean business.
— Bob (@BuhOBuh) January 24, 2013
@LUFC good luck to him cnt blame him
— frankie (@lynchy11114) January 24, 2013
@LUFC. No ambition for LUFC. Bought a hlf year season ticket under false pretenses! Never has it looked so bad after 30+ supporting LUFC
— Ian Dearnley (@IDearnley) January 24, 2013
— Lewis (@lewiseddie1971) January 24, 2013
The transfer request was handed in after a breakdown in contract talks with the striker.
The club made in a statement that Becchio’s demands were ‘beyond a level we could support.’
Six days after handing in the transfer request it was reported by Sky Sports that the striker was in talks with Norwich as part of a swap deal for Norwich’s Wales International Steve Morison.
The Canaries boss Chris Hughton confirmed the club were interested in the then 29-year-old.
And on deadline day in January 2013, the move was complete.
Becchio failed to score for Norwich during his eight games that year and would only play seven times the following season, too.
Having scored 19 goals during his final season, and 11 the year before, he is best remembered for his 20 goal season in the second tier after Leeds’ promotion back in 2010.
The reaction to the transfer request was more aimed at the board for not doing all they can to secure the long-term future of one of the supporter’s favourites since his arrival to Elland Road in 2008.
Having sent five successful years with Leeds, the end to life in Yorkshire felt anticlimactic and swift.
United would eventually finish 13th without the striker’s goals to propel them up the table.
It was a dark day in Leeds’ recent history, and he is a player, by and large, they have failed to replace since baring the anomalies that were Chris Wood and to an extent, Kemar Roofe.