When Charlie Taylor made his professional debut for Leeds United in a 3-2 victory over Bradford City in the League Cup in 2011, not many at Elland Road would have predicted that he would go on to become a regular starter for Burnley in the Premier League just six years later.
A graduate from the club’s youth academy, the defender was loaned out on no fewer than four occasions by the Whites before finally forcing his way into the plans of then-manager Neal Redfearn half-way through the 2014/15 campaign.
Following a number of impressive performances for his side, Taylor began to establish himself as Leeds’ first-choice full-back during the following season as he made 43 appearances in all competitions for the Yorkshire-based outfit.
Despite missing a significant amount of action due to injury in the 2016/17 campaign for the Whites, when he was fit enough to feature, he took his game to new heights by producing an outstanding level of consistency which eventually attracted the interest of Burnley manager Sean Dyche.
With the attraction of moving to the Premier League too good of an opportunity to turn down, Taylor decided to turn down a new deal at Leeds in order to secure a switch to Turf Moor.
Although the Whites would not initially receive any money from the Clarets, due to the fact that the defender was under the age of 24 at the time of the move, they would later be given a compensatory fee believed to be in the region of £7m (via the Yorkshire Evening Post).
Since making his top-flight bow for Burnley against Stoke City in December 2017, Taylor has gone from strength to strength and is now considered as one of England’s most promising young full-backs.
Despite his exit from Elland Road being tainted by his refusal to sign a new contract, it is clear that if Leeds could have him back for the play-offs, they would, especially when you consider the injury crisis that Marcelo Bielsa is currently facing ahead of the club’s clash with Derby County on Saturday.
Having already lost both Barry Douglas and Ezgjan Alioski to season-ending injuries, the Whites’ hopes of achieving promotion to the Premier League may be dashed due to the lack of cover at full-back.
However, if they can overcome this adversity and launch one final push for promotion, Leeds could be re-united with Taylor next season as Burnley have once again avoided relegation this year.
Whites fans, what are some of your standout memories of Taylor? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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