When Bradley Johnson arrived at Elland Road 11 years ago, not even the most optimistic Leeds supporter would have predicted just how big of an impact he would have on the club’s fortunes.
Following a highly-impressive spell at Northampton Town, the midfielder decided to join the Whites mid-way through the 2007/08 campaign after a move to Leicester City fell through.
Tasked with trying to help his new side achieve promotion from League One, Johnson made a bright start to life at Leeds and quickly established himself as a regular starter under-then boss Gary McAllister.
Although the Whites would go on to reach the play-off final, the former Cobblers star was powerless to stop a gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers at Wembley Stadium.
Following the emergence of Fabian Delph at Leeds, Johnson lost his place in the Leeds side and was briefly loaned out to Brighton & Hove Albion before being recalled by the club’s new manager Simon Grayson.
Despite only making cameo appearances for the club as a substitute for the rest of the season, the midfielder’s decision to fight for his place paid off in the 2009/10 campaign as he played a key role in helping the Whites secure a return to the Championship by firing in seven goals in 36 appearances.
Upon Leeds’ return to the second tier, Johnson demonstrated an outstanding improvement in all areas of his game which soon attracted the interest of Norwich City.
With the Canaries offering the 32-year-old the chance to play in the Premier League, the midfielder chose to leave the Whites in 2011. After enjoying a particularly fruitful stint at Carrow Road in which he scored 21 goals in 144 league appearances, Johnson moved on to Derby County in 2015.
Now into his fourth season with the Rams, the £2.25m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) is expected to feature for Frank Lampard’s side against Leeds on Saturday in the first leg of the play-offs at Pride Park.
Although he has only found the back of the net on two occasions this year, it would not be at all surprising if Johnson adds to his tally in the upcoming fixtures and ends up breaking the hearts of the Whites’ supporters in the process.
Leeds fans, what are some of your standout memories of Johnson? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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