11 players that will never play for Leeds because of the Paddy Kenny rule
As Paddy Kenny found out to his cost, Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has no time for people who have any association with the number 17. Don't be expecting any of these lads to rock up to Elland Road in the near future then.
This morning we brought you the astonishing story regarding Irish international Paddy Kenny and his bizarre omission from the Leeds United pre-season tour of Italy.
We were slightly bamboozled by the whole situation. But we are also curious to see how rigidly Leeds United will stick by this policy of not selecting players born on the 17th of the month. The story may have an element of farce about it, but it wasn't going to stop us putting together a team of players that Leeds would potentially reject because, like Kenny, they were all born on the 17th of the month.
Would the prospect of having this team convince Massimo Cellino to change his superstitions? *Warning, the information below may be nothing but wild speculation in some cases*
Fraser Forster (March, 17) – The Celtic goalkeeper has been fantastic for the Hoops for the last few seasons. But his March 17 birthday means he can never fulfill his (possible) lifelong dream to play with Leeds unless Cellino has a change of heart.
Alvaro Arbeloa (January, 17) – The right-back enjoyed a successful spell at Liverpool and remains a top quality defender. JOE understands he could be tempted back to England because of his keen interest in Emmerdale as well the promise of an unlimited supply of Rich Tea biscuits.
Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa (June, 17) – Alex was heavily linked with a move to Elland Road last January but couldn’t finalise personal terms before the transfer deadline. Circumstances have changed in Leeds so will they be following up their January bid to sign the Brazilian?
Phil Jagielka (August, 17) – The England international endured a disappointing World Cup and it is reported that Everton are keen to off-load the defender with Congolese side AS Nika the front runners to snap him up. Leeds must put aside their superstitions and act quickly if they are to prise him from the African club.
Joey O’Brien (February, 17) – Currently plying his trade at London based West Ham United, the Dubliner has made no secret of his desire to jump down a league and play for the historical heavyweights Leeds United. How many more good players can Cellino reject?
Steven Pienaar (March, 17) – Pienaar is the second Everton player to feature in our list. While there has been no reported interest in the South African, Pienaar is said to be unsettled at Goodison Park leading to speculation he will seek an early contract termination. Expect further developments in the coming weeks as Pienaar has told his agent to “Get me a contract at Leeds”. You heard it here first.
Jordan Henderson (June, 17) – The England midfielder has improved vastly over the past season, and he has stated he wants to play with an experienced midfielder who can help him improve his all-round game. This has fuelled speculation he is hinting at Leeds to sign him up so he can team up with veteran Leeds midfielder David Norris, whom it is said Henderson admires for his “footballing prowess and his work in politics in Ireland”. JOE thinks Leeds should launch a bid before Henderson realises his mistake.
Raul Meireles (March, 17)- There have been mutterings in the soccer world that Meireles has fallen out of love with the Turkish culture and is seeking a move back to a country where his outlandish hairstyles are not mocked but celebrated. There's been no noise from Leeds yet but you can guarantee the scouting department is clawing at Cellino’s door to try and change his mind.
Shinji Kagawa (March, 17) – The Japanese maestro has grown frustrated with two limited seasons in Manchester. Reports from close to Kagawa suggest he is reacting like a bitter ex-girlfriend and he is keen to sign for Leeds to hurt Manchester United. Whether or not these reports are true is difficult to say but according to Shinji Kagawa’s official twitter account @evilkagawa, he is highly disillusioned with his role at the club.
Thierry Henry (August, 17) – Reports from America suggest Henry wants one last swansong in England to finish his career. It seems that Leeds is the only logical destination for him ever since his infamous quote from his Arsenal days: “I don’t dream of Barcelona or Real Madrid, my future lies in Elland Road.” Cellino is said to be a huge fan of Henry but the tabloids are claiming Henry lied to him about his birthday. If this turns out to be correct, we think the deal may be dead in the water.
Edin Dzeko (March, 17) – Another rumour which is quietly starting to spread is the unrest in Manchester City camp. With Joe Hart’s declaration that he wishes to be first choice striker next season in an effort to do even more shampoo commercials, that leaves very little room in an already congested forward line. Manchester City will be looking for a quick sale of the Bosnian but will Cellino stump up the cash or stick to his superstitions?