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Tom Cairney: A Leeds United reject to a Championship star

last updated Sunday 19th April 2020, 10:18 PM

Fulham Football Club

Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney
Fulham midfielder
Tom Cairney
Tom Cairney
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After starting out with Nottingham Forrest, Tom Cairney, 29, moved to Leeds United in 1998 where he spent 9 years with the Whites’ youth system. And at the age of 16, he was rejected by the club for being too small. Since then, he has not looked back.

He joined Hull City’s U18 side in the summer of 2007 and was promoted to the club’s senior team three years later. After 11 goals and 5 assists in 80 appearances for the Tigers, he was signed initially on loan by Blackburn and thus, went on to feature in 85 games for the Rovers.

It was his time with Blackburn Rovers that Cairney earned a name for himself. In the summer of 2015, the Scotsman moved to Craven Cottage and since then, he has established himself as one of the finest players in the Championship.

In his first season with the Cottagers, he scored 8 goals and provided 6 assists and helped them survive relegation to the third tier. The following campaign saw Fulham finish 6th in the league as they soared higher up on the back of several impressive performances from Cairney, who ended as the club’s top scorer with 12 goals.

The box-to-box maestro has gone on to impress each year with Fulham and has also been trusted with the armband by Cottagers boss Scott Parker. Cairney has enjoyed five seasons at Craven Cottage and is aiming to push his team to get promoted this term, either by automatic qualification or by the play-offs.

The Scottish international has been in fine nick this season, scoring 8 times and laying on 3 assists for his teammates. His performances have seen him rise into one of the most crucial players for Fulham alongside Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The former Hull City man has made Leeds United pay in the past as he has scored on 4 occasions since moving away from Elland Road. He has also experienced life in the Premier League when Fulham were promoted to the top-flight at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Cairney has come a long way since his Leeds United rejection and they will now probably look at it as a slipped opportunity.

Source Audrick Kramer at Media Referee
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