Championship

Profit Players: Leeds United and Caleb Ekuban

This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.

Some transfers pay off, some, unfortunately, do not and Leeds United could say they have had their fair share of those that fall in the latter category, especially in the recent era under Victor Orta’s guidance as the director of football has come under some criticism for the individuals he has plucked out of thin air at times.

Caleb Ekuban is one such player that could be described as a flop of a transfer where the Whites are concerned, as the Ghana international failed to hit the ground running during his time at Elland Road.

Indeed, things started downhill for the Italian-born African forward in Yorkshire, as he suffered a metatarsal fracture to his foot just a few months after completing his £504k move from Chievo Verona.

Ekuban was limited to 21 appearances for the Whites across all competitions and managed to score just two goals (Transfermarkt), which was a far cry from what he had managed to achieve in previous seasons with other employers.

In fact, the year prior to his switch to Leeds, the Ghananian managed to rifle in 18 goals in his 42 outings for Albanian side FK Partizani, which would have given the Yorkshire outfit a degree of confidence regarding his ability in front of goal.

A change of manager at Elland Road may have given Ekuban some confidence that he would get another chance (Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom had already been and gone), but Marcelo Bielsa made it pretty clear he had no plans for him and sent him out on loan to Turkish outfit Trabzonspor.

Indeed, a season-long loan spell later and he completed a permanent move to the Super Lig side, which also managed to bag the Championship club almost twice the amount of money they spent on him in the first place.

It is understood Trabzonspor handed Leeds £900k to take him off their hands, and whilst he was believed to be valued at around £1.13m at the time, to achieve almost 100% profit on a player that ultimately flopped at Elland Road was some going.

The 25-year-old might have been finding his feet in Turkey this season (five goals in seven games is highly impressive), but Ekuban did not look as though he was the player that would be able to benefit Bielsa and the Whites in their efforts to try and win promotion to the Premier League.

Leeds fans, how well did the club do to almost double their money on Ekuban? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!

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Profit Players: Leeds United and Caleb Ekuban
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