How Leicester managed to sign Kasper Schmeichel from Leeds for just £1 million

In 2011 Leicester City signed goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel from Leeds United for £1 million – a fee many believed was well below the player’s valuation.

Schmeichel spent just one season at Elland Road after signing from Notts Country, but he was hugely impressive as the Whites finished 7th on their return to the Championship.

He was arguably Leeds’ best player throughout the 2010-2011 campaign, showing all the agility and athleticism his dad became renowned for.

At just 24, many predicted the West Yorkshire club would look to build a team around Schmeichel in their pursuit of the Premier League what happened though was quite the opposite.

Despite their impressive season, Leeds shipped a whopping 70 goals and it quickly became evident who owner Ken Bates blamed for that.

Simon Grayson was the manager at the time and nearly a decade later he has opened up on the deal that took Schmeichel to the King Power Stadium for pittance.

“Even at the time, that wasn’t a good deal to sell a very good goalkeeper,” Grayson told The Athletic.

“He had a year left on his contract and the club signed him for nothing, so the club looked to recoup some money on him.

“It was a business deal that I wasn’t overjoyed in doing.

“He signed a two-year contract and after the first season, the people above me made the decision to sell him because they didn’t want him to walk out on a free.

“There were a few players at that time who began to be sold by the people above me.

“That was the decision and it wasn’t anything to do with his ability.

“Yes, I had to make out at the time that, sort of, we were looking for more competition.

“People realised that the people above us were starting to sell players, although we went down the line of saying that we were looking to improve the squad.”

On face value it looked a sideways move with Leicester finishing below Leeds in the table that season.

Schmeichel himself declared his surprise at the decision after declaring he wanted to stay at Elland Road.

As it turned out though, the move was very beneficial for the Danish keeper who gained promotion with the Foxes a few years later.

He then established himself as the club’s number one and by 2016 he was a Premier League winner after Leicester defied the odds to win the title.

Schmeichel is now approaching 350 games for City in his seventh consecutive season in the top flight, while Leeds have only just made it back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Depending on which side you are on, the deal that took Schmeichel to Leicester from Leeds represents some of the best and worst transfer business of the last 10 years.

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