Last week Leeds United decided it was time to let Luke Murphy find his way elsewhere. After spending 18 months on loan at Burton Albion he was released by mutual consent. He subsequently went on to join Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer. This weekend he was thrown in at the deep end, starting for the Trotters v relegated West Brom.
He was outstanding. Murphy played roughly an hour for Bolton as they picked up a shock 2-1 win over the Baggies at The Hawthorns.
“Today has given everyone a lot of confidence and we’ve got a lot of new players in. Luke Murphy was magnificent today.
He was training with the Under-23s at Leeds so hasn’t had an ideal pre-season and has had very little game time. We decided to give him 60 minutes and Gary O’Neil 30 minutes. That was a big ask of him, but he’s done really well for us.”
Murphy must find inspiration in his release from his former Leeds United captain Sol Bamba.
Released by Garry Monk in the summer of 2016, like Murphy he had been deemed surplus to requirements by the new Leeds boss.
Bamba swiftly moved on to Cardiff City. From there the Ivorian helped Cardiff stave off the drop, much like Bolton did last season. Then, in 2017-18, he was one of the division’s top central defenders as Cardiff City finished in a shock second place and won Premier League promotion.
Murphy must look at Bamba, another player discarded by Leeds about two years ago, and realise he can rebuild his career elsewhere.
For whatever reason, it has not panned out at Elland Road. But in leaving the club he can find himself a new lease of life.
Leeds fans were always fond of the hard-working Murphy, so not many will begrudge him any future success. As long as he has doesn’t cost the Whites three points at any time this season that is.