It is hard to think of a player less popular from the Massimo Cellino era at Leeds United than centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci. The Italian was signed from Catania in the summer of 2014 and arrived with a good reputation. A former Italian under-21 international he has performed at the highest level in his homeland and Leeds appeared to have a good signing on their hands.
What transpired, was a player who had talent, but lacked the mental aptitude to survive at Elland Road.
Often making costly errors at the back he also rubbed Leeds fans up the wrong way with his body language and attitude on the pitch. A moment that sticks out in many a Leeds fan’s memory is when he took a free-kick opportunity away from club darling Lewis Cook. He stepped up intently, only to fire a stupid effort away from any sort of danger.
Bellusci was more known for giving away stupid penalties and being Leeds United fan’s least favourite player than for anything else he did at Elland Road.
He was eventually loaned to Empoli in 2016 and, last summer, headed to Palermo on a permanent deal. His departure was warmly received by the Leeds fans, who were happy to see the back of him.
However, whilst Leeds’ promotion push lies in tatters, Bellusci could be heading to Serie A this summer.
The central defender has been a regular for Palermo this season who recently leapfrogged Frosinone into the second automatic promotion spot in the Italian second-tier. With just eight league games left for the Sicilian side, Bellusci and co are confident they can do what it takes to earn promotion back to the Italian top-flight this summer.
Leeds fans do not miss Bellusci. But seeing him doing so well in his post-Elland Road career must irk slightly.
As Leeds prepare to finish in a forgettable mid-table, Bellusci could help Palermo to meetings with Juventus, Roma and AC Milan next season.
That’s quite the turnaround from being Elland Road’s public enemy number one.