‘It was a disaster’ – Former Brighton star opens up on big Leeds United regret

Former Brighton star Will Buckley says that his short loan stint at Leeds United was a “disaster” and the standout regret of his career.

The ex-Albion winger scored 19 goals in 109 games between 2011-14 in the Championship before leaving for Premier League outfit Sunderland.

It is arguable that the former Watford and Rochdale man spent the best moments of his career with the Seagulls and in 2020 Buckley hang up his boots altogether following his release from Bolton.

In an interview on the Seagulls Social podcast, he looked back at his career, including the loan spells the Oldham-born footballer enjoyed – or not.

Former Brighton player Will Buckley in action during the FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round match against Arsenal at Amex Stadium on January 26, 2013
Will Buckley played for Brighton & Hove Albion between 2011-14

Buckley, who signed for Brighton from Watford for a then club-record fee of £1m, had loan stints at Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday, but his time at Leeds, in particular, did not bear much fruit.

He signed for the Yorkshire outfit on an emergency 93-day loan from Sunderland in October 2015 but only made four appearances, before being recalled in late November.

“Leeds was a disaster. I can laugh about it now that I have stopped playing. One of the games I did actually played was against Brighton and [Bobby] Zamora scored in the 93rd minute,” he said.

“I think that was the season Brighton went up [to the Premier League]. I went in when Uwe Rosler was the manager, he brought me in.

“He looked like he was doing really good things, lost three games while I was there before I managed to get into the team, [he] got sacked, Steve Evans came in and he had his players that he wanted to play, or whether I don’t know who was picking the team at the time.”

When asked about anything he regretted in his career, his time at Elland Road was top of the list.

He was quick to state he harboured no ill will towardst Leeds, but his spell there did not work out as he had hoped.

Neal Maupay celebrates with Brighton team-mates

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“[Do I] regret anything in my career? Maybe the loan move to Leeds,” he said.

“It was nothing against Leeds as a club, I had a few injuries again, my knee was a little bit sore, it wasn’t right, and I went thinking, ‘I want to play football,’ but I wasn’t ready to go and go straight into a good Championship team.

“That is probably the only regret really.”

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