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Next Up - Brighton & Leeds United (Published in Sheffield Wednesday's Official Programme)

Updated: Feb 18, 2021


BRIGHTON 04/01, 3:01PM

Leonardo Ulloa's spell in English football will forever be synonymous with his part in Leicester's title-winning campaign, but his time in the Midlands was bookended by two stints at Brighton.

The striker arrived from Spanish side Almería for £2m and he scored on his debut in a 3-2 FA Cup loss to Arsenal.

Ulloa also became the first player to score a hat-trick at the Falmer Stadium (AMEX) against Huddersfield in March 2013. However it was his two goals against Crystal Palace that most endeared him to the Brighton faithful.

Ulloa's fine goalscoring form continued and he secured a play-off spot for Brighton with a late winner against Leeds. But it wasn't to be for Ulloa and Brighton as they twice consecutively reached the end of season lottery and twice failed to make it to the big time.

His two seasons with Brighton attracted Premier League suitors and Ulloa was bought by Leicester and was on course to winning a top flight title. Meanwhile Brighton were in pursuit of Premier League football which was ultimately achieved in 2017.

The two were reunited in 2018 as a lack of Leicester game time led to a Seagulls return for Ulloa. But his loan from the Foxes was not a great success as he managed only one goal in 10 games. The striker did speak about a permanent switch back to Brighton but ultimately moved to Pachuca in Mexico.

LEEDS 11/01, 3:00PM

Two Premier Leagues, a Champions League, pretty much every trophy any player could want to win and now a Club World Cup winner, James Milner has done it all.

Despite his long career and love of the game, the club closest to his heart would arguably be where it all started and the team he supported growing up - Leeds.

Milner was first a Season Ticket holder at Elland Road, then ball boy, and made a dream debut for his hometown club aged just 16 in 2002.

His abilities were immediately obvious as he became the youngest player ever to score in the Premier League. Milner had already gained headlines for playing in the Premier League at such a young age, but his goal against Chelsea really made the elite stand up and take notice. Milner skillfully turned Marcel Desailly and completed a boyhood dream of scoring at Elland Road.

The utility man was rewarded with a five-year contract extension and went on loan to Swindon to play regular first team football.

But back at his parent club, it would prove a traumatic season for Leeds and despite assurances Milner would not be sold, United's financial difficulties became obvious and their star players were picked off.

The man labelled 'the future of Leeds' was amongst them and sold following their relegation to the Championship, signing for Newcastle in July 2004.

Peter Jones

@PeterKennyJones

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