Transfers: When Simon Grayson got it right TSS July 17, 2011 Top fives 27 Comments The transfer window is an exciting, yet often frustrating time for fans of football clubs up and down the country as they eagerly await new arrivals in the hope that they’ll lead their team to success. Like most football clubs, Leeds United have seen a lot of players come and go over the last few years. Many of them were distinctly average footballers who did little but make up the numbers, whilst others appeared to have blagged their way through the interview and somehow conned our management into believing they were a professional footballer. Transfers can be a lot like gambling at a Betway casino, there’s a certain risk involved with them all, but the potential rewards are so great that the transfer window never loses it’s excitement. Here’s a selection of Simon Grayson’s winners. Davide Somma Whilst playing for the San Jose Earthquakes in the American MLS, Davide Somma met former Leeds United striker Darren Huckerby who convinced the South African he should head for England and try his luck in the land where football began. Heeding the words of Huckerby, Somma boarded a plane for England with a one-way ticket and never looked back. Following a trial with Queens Park Rangers, the Leeds United scouts gave him a shot at Thorp Arch. Suitably impressed with what they saw, Simon Grayson gave the South African a professional contract and shipped him out on loan, firstly to Darlington then Chesterfield and finally Lincoln. It was at Lincoln City where Somma really showed what he was capable of, scoring 9 times in 13 appearances. The following season Davide Somma remained at Leeds and scored twice in his first game of 2010-11 after coming on as a substitute v Millwall. Despite playing second fiddle to Luciano Becchio, Somma managed 12 goals in 2010-11 and was also called up to the South African national side. Sam Sodje Few players manage to endear themselves to the Leeds United faithful quite as much as Sam Sodje did and it was all the more impressive considering the centre-back played just 8 times for the club. Sodje signed on loan for the final few games of the 2008-09 season and instantly impressed the Whites fans by forming a formidable partnership with Richard Naylor. Leeds fans demanded the defender was signed permanently at the end of the season, but after much speculation he joined Charlton Athletic. Leeds meanwhile had to settle for the next player on our list. Patrick Kisnorbo Paddy Kisnorbo is the living embodiment of everything Leeds United fans want in their players – a tough, uncompromising, hard-working player who wears his heart on his sleeve and never gives up. Kisnorbo received a nasty blow to the head on his Leeds United début that required 12 stitches and plastic surgery to fully fix the problem. The surgery would mean Kisnorbo would have to miss a few matches however, so the Australian instead delayed the operation and spent the rest of the season sporting a white protective headband – something Leeds United fans could often be seen wearing in his honour. The Australian’s first season at the club was an exceptional one. Despite being injured in March 2010 against Millwall, Leeds United were promoted with the best defensive record in the league – a feat Whites fan unanimously agree was greatly aided by the performances of Patrick Kisnorbo. Lloyd Sam Lloyd Sam arrived at his hometown club at the start of the 2010-11 season and was immediately put into play with Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel both unavailable for the opening games. His performances were a breath of fresh air, instantly winning him the hearts of Leeds United fans. Sam’s pace and ability to get by people and whip a cross in saw him become an ever-present in the Leeds United team until a minor foot injury left him sidelined. After recovering from injury, Sam struggled to break his way back into a team where Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel were putting in consistently good performances. Sam’s role became largely limited to the bench for the second half of the season, but when called upon, he always gave a solid performance. Max Gradel It could have all been so very different for “Mad” Max Gradel had his red card on the final day of the 2009-10 season cost us promotion. Max Gradel often plays football like a child in a playground. Undeniably greedy and convinced he can take half the opposition on himself, Gradel isn’t scared of running with the ball and taking the shot. For the most part, he’s pretty successful at it too, proven by his 18 goals last season – not bad for a winger. After joining Leeds United on loan from Leicester City back in 2009, Gradel quickly proved his worth and was signed up permanently in the following transfer window. One of only a handful of players Leeds United have paid for over the past few years and he’s been worth every penny. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.