Exclusive : “When I joined Leeds from Manchester United, supporters stopped me in the street and called United scum” – former Old Trafford star

Former Manchester United star Dan James might be in for a surreal welcome to life at Elland Road, if the path of one of his predecessors is anything to go by.

James moved to Leeds United on deadline day last week in a move that could cost up to £30m following the arrival at Old Trafford of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was a transfer which seemed convenient for all parties, and Leeds indeed wanted James before he left Swansea.

But Scott Wootton, who made the same move in 2013, has revealed that life after making that transition can be a difficult process.

Wootton, a centre-back, moved to Leeds shortly after David Moyes became United manager, and, speaking exclusively on this Sunday’s Talking Devils podcast with Dave Murphy, he revealed that he found the atmosphere a little surprising.

“When I signed for Leeds, United were the only rivalry they had and it shocked me,” Wootton said. “Don’t get me wrong, I know they were rivals, I remember a youth team game once when parents were fighting on the side.”

“But Leeds fans hate United with a passion. I’d be walking in the city centre and the fans would stop me and say, ‘It’s better than the scum here isn’t it?’ There was a real hatred for sure.”

Wootton confessed it made life tough.

“It was quite difficult for me,” he admitted. “There were times during my career where I’d be doing well but if we lost a game it would be my fault because I was an ex-Man Utd player. I felt like an easy target at times and it popped up a lot on social media. The problem was the transition at the club. There were seven managers when I was there. It’s difficult for any players to have continuity.”

On this week’s show Scott and Dave also discussed the tactical set up at United and how Ole might construct his forward line in big games. You can watch the show here or download the podcast on all audio platforms.

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