The rivalry between Leeds United and Manchester United dates back to the early 1900s and despite the pair having not played each other since 2011, it’s still as intense as any other football derby.

In the latest instalment between the two, Jose Mourinho has allowed defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson to join the Yorkshire club on a season-long loan.

Over the years, a number of players have made the switch across counties, here are just a few that stand out.

Joe Jordan

Leeds United (1970-78), Manchester United (1978-81)

Joe Jordan was one of the first players to make the switch as he left Elland Road in 1978 after spending eight years in Leeds. Jordan was part of the side that helped Leeds win the first division in 1974 – the same year in which their rivals were relegated from the league.

In his time at Leeds, Jordan made over 170 appearances for the club and was part of the squad that reached the final of the European Cup in 1975 – a final they suffered defeat in against Bayern Munich.

The Scottish-born forward spent three years at Old Trafford, and although an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1979 was the only honour he achieved, he did manage to clock-up over 100 appearances for the club.

Gordan McQueen

Leeds United (1972-78), Manchester United (1978-85)

Fellow Scotsman, Gordan McQueen followed Jordan in moving to Manchester in the same transfer window for a fee of around £500,000.

The defender was also in the league winning side for Leeds in 1974, but also won the FA Cup in 1983 with the Reds.

McQueen was a key figure in the United squad for many years and featured more than 180 times for the Red Devils.

Gordan Strachan

Manchester United (1984-89), Leeds United (1989-95)

A European Cup winner with Aberdeen in 1983, Gordan Strachan moved to Old Trafford in 1984, before leaving for Yorkshire five years later.

Strachan representing Manchester United. Credit: Turnstyle


Strachan controlled the midfield for a number of years with the Reds and made over 150 appearances for the Manchester club. The former Scotland international, and current national team manager was part of the 1985 FA Cup winning side – a game which saw United beat Everton, 1-0.

In 1991, during his spell with Leeds, Strachan was voted as the division’s Player of the Year, and also featured in the squad which won two titles in three seasons (1989-90 and 1991-92).

Eric Cantona

Leeds United (1992), Manchester United (1992-97)

Arguably the best player that has made the switch between to two clubs. The Frenchman no doubt one of the greatest players to ever play for Manchester United – and would definitely feature in any United supporters all time starting 11.

The honours, both as an individual and in a squad just speaks for itself. Four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, three Charity Shield’s, a Player of the Year award….the list goes on.

One of the long standing memories many will have from Cantona’s time in Manchester is the ‘kung-fu kick’ he performe towards a Crystal Palace fan in 1995 – something which led to him being banned from football for eight months.

On his return to the squad, Cantona featured for United in October 1995 (in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool). The striker returned to the pitch at Old Trafford to a sea of French flags in the crowd – a heroes welcome for a sensational player.

Cantona during his comeback game against Liverpool in 1995. Credit: MEN

Cantona damaged Liverpool hearts in the same season as his winning goal in the 1996 FA Cup final won the trophy for United against their great rivals.

United proved to be the final curtain for Cantona and his playing career who excelled in the Premier League and left many supporters with plenty of memories – both good and bad.

Rio Ferdinand

Leeds United (2000-02), Manchester United (2002-14)

Manchester United broke the transfer window once again in 2002, when a certain Rio Ferdinand joined from Leeds United.

The centre-half made over 300 appearances for United and formed one of the Premier League’s greatest partnerships in defence with Nemanja Vidic. The pair were unstoppable and assisted in many honours at Old Trafford.

In his time with United, Ferdinand won six Premier League titles, one Champions League, two League Cups, four Community Shield’s and one FIFA Club World Cup.

Ferdinand is no doubt a Red Devil legend due to the commitment and passion he contributed to the squad for the 12 years he was at the club.

Alan Smith

Leeds United (1996-98 Youth) (1998-04 Senior), Manchester United (2004-07)

Alan Smith started his career with Leeds coming through the youth-squad before making over 170 appearances for the senior side. Smith was part of the Leeds youth squad that won the FA Youth Cup in 1997 and made his breakthrough to the senior team in 1998.

Smith’s move to Old Trafford in 2004 was a transfer that justified how strong the rivalry was between the two clubs. Many Leeds fans compared the England international to “Judas” after his betrayal to the Yorkshire club.

Smith scored a number of big goals for United. Credit: Republik of Mancunia

However, after the controversy had blown over, Smith got his hands on his first Premier League trophy in 2007 as United won the title for the first time in four seasons. The League Cup in 2006 proved to be Smith’s only other trophy success during his time in Manchester as he departed for Newcastle United in 2007.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Manchester United (2003-15 Youth) (2015- Senior), Leeds United (2017-)

The Manchester United full-back becomes the latest player to seal a move between the two clubs albeit being a season-long loan deal.

Borthwick-Jackson has been at United since 2003 and has made a number of first team appearances – the majority of them coming when Louis van Gaal was in charge.

The Manchester-born player spent last season on loan at Wolves, but didn’t feature as much as United had hoped – which resulted in him being recalled and spending the remainder of the season in the u23 squad.

Leeds and Manchester United’s rivalry will always have intensity and with the pair only separated by one league, the chances of them clashing once again are strong.