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With Leo Pulac linked, what ever happened to former Leeds man Zan Benedicic?

Leeds United expected a lot from AC Milan loanee.

Mathew Nash

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Leeds United have today been linked with a move for Venezia midfielder Leo Stulac. Alfredo Pedulla claims that Leeds are keeping tabs on the talented player, who has performed well under Filippo Inzaghi in Venice. The report claims Leeds are challenging Genoa for the Slovenian’s signing.

But what happened to the last Slovenian to play for Leeds?

Back in the summer of 2014, the Whites agreed the season-long loan deal, with an option to buy, of AC Milan youngster Zan Benedicic. It looked like Leeds had signed a real talent and fans were very excited to see him in action.

They did not have to wait long. He was clearly in then manager Dave Hockaday’s plans at Elland Road until disaster struck. In September 2014 he picked up a cruciate knee ligament injury. It ruled him out for the season. After just two appearances for Leeds, the Slovenian was done in West Yorkshire and was not seen playing for the club again.

Benedicic was the epitome of a Massimo Cellino era signing. An unknown quantity from Italian football, who simply failed to make an impact at Elland Road.

But with Leeds now targeting another Slovenian midfield operator, did Leeds have a star on their hands in Benedicic or was he never going to make it in West Yorkshire.

 

It appears the answer may be the latter.

After Leeds, the playmaker went on to have unsuccessful stints with both Como and Ascoli. He then turned up in England again. Benedicic joined Leyton Orient in the summer of 2016 but after just six months he was released after barely making any impact in London.

After that, he returned to Italy again for another ill-fated spell – this time with Lega Pro side Olbia.

(Photo by Ryan Browne/Getty Images)

So where is he now?  

Still only 22-years-old, the midfielder has struggled to live up to his billing as a future talent. In February, he returned to Slovenia to join NK Celje.

But, so far, that move has not yet worked out either. Benedicic played just 35 minutes of football after joining the club in the winter.

His contract with his new club runs until next summer and he will hope to finally settle at Celje. Leeds fans will hope Pulac has more of an impact if he ends up at Elland Road this summer.

Leeds United

Leeds United dodged a bullet on 5-goal forward Quique last summer

Leeds United tabled an offer for the Spanish attacker last summer.

Mathew Nash

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Comments in the Spanish press this week seem to suggest that Leeds United were in the hunt for Enrique ‘Quique’ Gonzalez last summer.

The 28-year-old has just completed a move from Osasuna to Deportivo La Coruna. It comes just one season after he joined Osasuna from Almeria.

According to the Basque club’s sporting director Braulio Vazquez, talking on the club’s official website, Leeds had an offer ‘on the table’ for the player.


“He had an offer from Leeds United on the table and was waiting for Levante, whose technical secretary was the current sports director of Deportivo.”

– Osasuna sporting director Braulio Vazquez on Quique’s signing


However, the forward ended up joining Osasuna in a deal worth €1.5 million (£1.3 million).

The interest from Leeds made perfect sense. The Whites were in the hunt for a new striker following the exit of Chris Wood. Quique had showcased his excellent goal-scoring ability on numerous occasions. He had just come off the back of two consecutive 16-goal seasons with Almeria.

(Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2013-14, he scored 24 goals for Segunda B side Guadalajara.

But, based on the evidence of last season, Leeds have not missed out. In 44 games for Osasuna, he managed just five goals. Considering this was in a league he knows well and has had goalscoring success before, you can only imagine his form in England could have been even worse.

Leeds never truly solved their striker problem last season, but Quique was not the solution.

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Brentford

One winner and one loser as Florian Jozefzoon chooses Derby over Leeds

The 27-year-old looks set to sign for the Rams.

Max Cohen

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Jozefzoon
Photo: Getty Images

When Brentford confirmed on Wednesday that the club had accepted a bid for attacker Florian Jozefzoon, it seemed Derby County were the frontrunners.

However, reports of a Leeds United bid added to the transfer drama, before Jozefzoon eventually chose the Rams over Elland Road, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The reported decision would come as a severe blow to Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United, as the club would miss out on yet another transfer target this summer.

However, Frank Lampard and Derby County will be delighted at another transfer coup, as the allure of the England legend is proving to be a great way of attracting players to Pride Park.

(Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Loser: Leeds fans

Although there are still a number of weeks left in the window, Leeds supporters are right to be worried about the lack of permanent signings.

So far, the club have made just two loan agreements with Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman of Chelsea. While the two are certainly smart acquisitions, they are not of the quality that will fire Leeds to promotion.

There is still no need to panic, as Marcelo Bielsa will surely attract some top talent as well— but to see their direct Championship rivals beat them to Jozefzoon will be worrying.

Winner: Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend has done it again. After securing the double loan swoop of promising youngsters Harry Wilson and Mason Mount, Lampard looks set to acquire the services of the former Dutch Under-21 international.

In his first transfer window as a manager, Lampard has done well to convince key targets to join his project at Pride Park, a valuable skill that will serve him well in his coaching career.

Derby now look set to mount a serous promotion challenge; Leeds will have to strengthen further to be able to say the same.

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Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Heckingbottom on Bielsa backing, Jozefzoon miss and Diagne wages

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Heckingbottom speaks  

Former boss Paul Heckingbottom has spoken publicly for the first time since departing Leeds United in June. He was let go at the start of June after failing to turnaround Leeds results significantly in a four-month spell.

He told talkSPORT that he suffered from a ‘change of direction’ from the club.

He was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa this summer and hopes the Argentine will get the backing he deserves at the club.


“He should be saying the same things I was saying and hopefully he gets the backing and the support to make changes and give the fans there what they’re crying out for.”


(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jozefzoon to Derby

Leeds United will not be signing Florian Jozefzoon this summer. The Dutchman has been linked with a move to Elland Road this summer. Yesterday, it was reported a deal had been agreed between his current club Brentford and an unnamed Championship side.

That team is not Leeds, but Derby County.

As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the winger is set to join the Rams for a fee in the region of £2.75 million, despite Leeds showing late interest.

Diagne wage trouble

Leeds have been linked with a move for Kasimpasa striker Mbaye Diagne this week. However, a report today suggests a stumbling block.

Turkish Football suggest he will cost around £3.6 million but that Leeds will struggle to afford his wages as talks get advanced.

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