Kalvin Phillips next? Every Premier League player who has played for Manchester United and Leeds


Manchester United and Leeds boast one of the fiercest rivalries in English football.

This War of the Roses clash as highly anticipated by both sets of supporters with no quarter given either on the pitch or off it. The two teams’ most recent battle this season back in February showed just how much a victory means to both clubs.

With a tribal hatred for one another it is normally unlikely that a player would represent both Leeds and United but that is something Kalvin Phillips could be set to do next season. Manchester Evening News understands that the Reds are aiming to bring the boyhood Leeds fan to Old Trafford in a deal which would strengthen their midfield options.

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If Phillips is to make the trip over the Pennines he will be following in the footsteps of nine other Premier League era players who have done the exact same thing. Here are the nine players that have played for both United and Leeds.

River Ferdinand

Leeds snapped up Ferdinand from West Ham back in 2000 and during his 73 appearances for the club he made quite the name for himself. Two years later he was signed by United much to the fury of the Elland Road faithful.

Ferdinand’s time at Old Trafford was a successful one. He has lifted the Premier League six times, earned three League Cups and won the Champions League.

Eric Canton

In what has likely become the source of much regret for Leeds, their manager Howard Wilkinson was more than happy to allow Cantona to leave Elland Road. Despite scoring 14 goals in 34 appearances, Cantona was able to leave Yorkshire and become a legend at United.

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His 81 goals in 181 appearances for the Reds led to him winning four Premier League crowns and two FA Cups.

Dan James

The most recent player to make the switch between the two clubs is James. The Welsh international never really settled at United and secured a place in the first team at the Theater of Dreams.

At the beginning of this season James was able to join Leeds but his fortunes have not improved much in a struggling side. Despite being an ever-present part of the squad with 30 appearances to his name, the forward has only managed four goals and assists in that time.

Cameron Borthwick Jackson

Now 25, Borthwick-Jackson came through the youth ranks at Manchester United to make 14 appearances for the first team. Despite being given his chance by Louis van Gaal, he never made the grade at Old Trafford and was loaned out on several occasions including to Leeds who were then in the Championship.

He was unable to cut the grade in Yorkshire either and would only spend half a season there before spending time at Scunthorpe United and Tranmere Rovers. Oldham Athletic would eventually sign him on a free in 2020 and the defender is now plying his trade at Burton Albion.

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Scott Wootton

Wootton was signed by United from Liverpool’s academy in 2008. Having gone on several loan spells, the center back would eventually make four appearances for the Reds.

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Leeds would sign the defender in 2013 and he would go on to make 74 appearances for the club before signing for MK Dons. Wootton now plays for Wellington Phoenix.

Liam Miller

Miller was signed by United from Celtic in 2003 and was considered to be a huge signing for the future. Sadly things did not work for him at the Reds and he joined Leeds on loan.

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He would make 33 appearances for the Yorkshire club but on his return to United Miller was transferred to Sunderland in 2006. In February 2018 United and Leeds were joined together in grief when Miller died at the age of 36 from pancreatic cancer.

Danny Pugh

Pugh failed to make his mark at Old Trafford with just a handful of appearances to his name with the Reds. In 2004 he was used as part of the deal which saw Alan Smith join United from Leeds.

Following 119 appearances for the Yorkshire side, Pugh was moved onto Preston North End. After several spells across the football league, Pugh took a career break after leaving Port Vale before signing for Hanley Town in August last year.

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alan smith

As mentioned above, Smith was signed as part of a switch deal which included Pugh. Smith came through the ranks at Leeds and was heralded by their supporters.

However, relegation forced Leeds to sell their prize asset to their fierce rivals. Smith would go on to win the Premier League and League Cup during his time at Old Trafford.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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