Leeds United have made a stuttering start to life in the Championship, as Daniel Farke attempts to negotiate the difficulties he inherited following their relegation last season.

After surviving a tumultuous summer transfer season, emerging somewhat undamaged despite some key departures, the German now faces the difficult task of quickly assembling his team into the title contenders that fans expect.

However, given their poor start to the season, being just three points off sixth place is a good return, especially given they have kept a clean sheet in each of their past three league games.

Illan Meslier is performing well once again after a torrid last campaign, in which his high-profile blunders arguably played an outstanding role in dooming them to the drop – as he made three errors leading to a goal in the Premier League.

His youth and inexperience have reared their ugly heads, but there is a quiet understanding that this should diminish with each passing year. With the 23-year-old shot-stopper, it is a case of trusting the process, but there was somebody Leeds could have had in the past who is likely still prospering now.

Illan Meslier makes VAR admission after Leeds United shock Liverpool at  Anfield while Jesse Marsch hails his side for 'stepping up'
With such a safe set of hands in the net, they might not have been relegated at all if they had kept Kasper Schmeichel and not permitted his easy escape in 2011.

Kasper Schmeichel left Leeds United for what reason?

As the son of the renowned Peter Schmeichel, the Danish international seemed destined for a successful career. Despite his father’s legacy being centered on Manchester United, the current Anderlecht titan began his career with Manchester City before moving on to Notts County and eventually Elland Road.

However, this rivalry proved too much for someone so young, as the Whites appeared unable to deal with his ties to one of their most despised clubs.

The 36-year-old would reveal all on Joe Hart’s YouTube series Gloved: “I remember about three weeks after joining Leeds thinking, ‘What have I done?!’ It was just the wrong club for me at that time. It was very clear, very early on that it was the wrong club for me.

“It was a club where I was not accepted and with my father’s history, it was evident among the fans that they did not approve of that.”


He would not blame the supporters exclusively for the demise of the relationship, stating that the institution created the sense he was completely undesired from top to bottom:


“I just didn’t feel welcome at the club, by the whole club, and that includes the manager [Simon Grayson].” He instilled no confidence in me. I believed I had a good season. I didn’t set the world on fire, but I had a good season, but I didn’t enjoy my time there. It was a terrible period.”
Leaving for Leicester City, what he would do with the Midlands team could not have been predicted after leaving Yorkshire for a pittance after only 40 appearances.

He would become a mainstay as the Foxes made a top-flight return before Leeds, leading them into the Premier League and steering them from relegation. Then, against all the odds, Schmeichel started in every single game as Claudio Ranieri somehow engineered their title charge and subsequent win.


Gary Lineker, who followed them as a child, characterized it as “a true fairytale story”: “I saw them in a cup final – lose – that was the closest we ever got to big glory.” We’ve won the League Cup a few times, but this is something different. This is simply not feasible. I would not have taken the odds at the start of the season. There are no odds. You could have offered me ten million to one and I would have responded, ‘Nah, it’s a waste of money.'”


Adding to such success, Brendan Rodgers would then help them claim an FA Cup too, cementing Schmeichel’s legacy as a “#LCFC Legend” in the eyes of BBC broadcaster John Bennett.


Whilst they likely would not have reached the same unparalleled levels that the King Power outfit did with him in goal, Leeds would certainly have benefitted had they put their prejudices aside and placed some faith in the keeper as a young man.


How much did Leicester City sign Kasper Schmeichel for?

Kasper Schmeichel - Wikipedia

It is a testament to the terrible decision-making of Simon Grayson that Schmeichel was allowed to leave at all, let alone for the tiny £1.25m fee paid.


Whilst the manager remains a hero for how he saved them from League One peril, his dismissal came due to a lack of confidence from the hierarchy that he could see out their promotion ambitions.

Perhaps if he had a safe pair of hands to keep a few more clean sheets, he may well have been the man to earn them that top-flight return, that would only come eight years after his sacking.


How much was Kasper Schmeichel worth at his peak?

Starts Clean Sheets Saves per game Average rating
Kasper Schmeichel (PL 2019/20) 38 13 2.5 6.94
Kasper Schmeichel (PL 2018/19) 38 10 2.4 6.72
Kasper Schmeichel (PL 2017/18) 33 8 2.8 6.75
Kasper Schmeichel (PL 2016/17) 30 8 3.8 6.90
Kasper Schmeichel (PL 2015/16) 38 15 2.6 6.90

Although his technical peak inarguably came with Leicester, his value actually reached its highest point after he had departed the King Power Stadium for OGC Nice.
Despite only joining for £1m, which crazily recouped the bulk of the fee they first paid to bring him to the club, that seemingly marked an incredible steal in the eyes of Football Transfers.

As of October 2022, they valued him at €26.2m (£22.7m). Therefore, after departing Elland Road for just £1.25m, his value actually rose by 1716% until last year – albeit with the veteran gem now worth in the region of £9m.


Why was Kasper Schmeichel so valuable?

There are numerous reasons why Schmeichel’s worth skyrocketed over his career, with top silverware unsurprisingly playing a role.


It is worth mentioning, though, that in his prime, the shot-stopper was widely considered as one of the top flight’s finest for his position, with former colleague James Maddison stating: “He’s a top goalkeeper, I think he’s in the top three of the Premier League.”
He went on to play 284 times in the Premier League, preserving a commendable 82 clean sheets for a team that was primarily fighting relegation at the time. He is a Leicester hero, and one of Leeds’ worst transfers.

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