Leeds United F.C. History
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1919-29 - The Twenties
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Korsten: Willem

1999-1999 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)

Left Midfield

Born: Baxtel, Holland: 21-01-1975

Debut: v Middlesbrough (h) (substitute): 16-01-1999

6í2Ē 12st 8lb (1999)

Korsten played in the Netherlands for NEC Nijmegen and Vitesse Arnhem where he gained Dutch under-twenty-one honours in a career that was always disturbed by injury. He was at NEC Nijmegen until joining Vitesse Arnhem in August 1993, and scored four goals in twenty-three games. He stayed with the Arnhem club until May 1999, when he went on loan to Leeds United and he scored twelve goals in seventy-five appearances for them. He was well known to the Dutch selectors and was thought to be a star of the future but suffered several long spells of injuries which stunted his career. Leeds were aware of the potential of the speedy and elusive winger and took a chance by taking him on loan. In a short amount of time Korsten showed he had the pace, skill and strength to cope with English football and Leeds decided to pursue a permanent transfer. In his debut he came on for the last six minutes in place of Alan Smith. He was in the starting eleven for the FA Cup tie at Portsmouth, playing sixty-four minutes before giving way to fellow countryman, Clyde Wijnhard, but he was not at his best as an attacking left winger. He missed the next game at Southampton, but came on for the last thirty-four minutes as he replaced Clyde Wijnhard in the wide left striking role. He was on for the last five minutes in the 1-1 FA Cup draw at home to Tottenham. He was on for a full game as United won at Aston Villa 2-1, and he gave an impressive performance and almost scored with a fine solo effort. He played the full ninety minutes and scored the winner at home to Everton, he played with control and pace. He was unlucky not to add to his tally and scared their defence like Kewell normally did. He was retained for the 2-0 F.A. Cup loss at Tottenham being replaced by Alan Smith after seventy-one minutes. There was a full ninety minutes for Korsten as United won 2-1 at Leicester City, but he was not at his best. He missed the 2-0 victory over Tottenham and managed the last two minutes in Unitedís 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday. On 3rd April, he was back for an eighty-eight minute stint and scored the third goal in a 4-1 victory over Derby County at Elland Road, being outstanding in the first half but fading in the second. It was Korstenís final game for United as he returned to Holland to think about his future. On 14th April, it was reported that Willem Korsten had turned down a permanent move to Leeds, despite the club agreeing to his personal terms. However, Tottenham Hotspur also made a bid for the Dutch midfielder which was accepted. Korsten chose to join Tottenham Hotspur permanently instead for a fee in the region of £1.5 million. Korsten arrived at Spurs in the summer as Grahamís replacement for Ginola after scoring twice in seven appearances on loan from Vitesse Arnhem at Leeds. Unfortunately, like the previous player Spurs took from under Leeds noses, John Scales, Korsten spent much of his time injured and failed to convince when given the opportunity in the first team. After some impressive pre-season matches, Korsten picked up an injury before the start of the season and did not get back into first team contention for six months, making his debut in a dreadful 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in Jan 2000. He went on to make a further eight appearances that season but did not impress, suffering from a loss of confidence and not being played in his preferred position. Korstenís form and morale never recovered while the George Graham was manager, and while he demonstrated a powerful shot, his overall contributions, admittedly often out of position, were very weak. For many of the Spurs fans, Korstenís career was a bit of a joke, and another stick to beat Graham with as he had purchased him to replace Ginola, who was player of the year at the time of the transfer. Injuries soon after Hoddle's arrival meant that Korsten got a decent run in the first team, and he showed his first real signs of ability in the brilliant second half comeback against Sunderland which saw Spurs comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2. His first Spurs goal, away at Anfield soon followed, but a mad sending off against Chelsea in between seemed to sum up his luck in Spurs colours. He returned from suspension to have his finest moment for Tottenham, when scoring the first and third goals in a 3-1 win over Manchester United. Even with his improved form, people were sceptical about whether he would ever scale the heights at White Hart Lane, but thought that he had shown good character to come through a difficult period and at last showed something like his best form. No one knew where Korsten was over the pre-season as the rest of the squad assembled and only in August was it revealed that he would be out for at least four months. The game against Manchester proved to be his last, as due to injuries, his career was cut short at the age of twenty-six. He started twelve League games for Tottenham and made another eleven appearances as a substitute, scoring three goals. He also made three substitute appearances in the F.A. Cup and one start in the League Cup, without scoring. He retired in October 2001 and in 2002 he returned to his hometown club of Nijmegen as a coach at the Nec Academy. He subsequently, carved out a career as a TV football commentator back in his homeland, and also made tentative comebacks in amateur football for Achilles '29, with whom he won a KNVB Amateur Cup winners medal 2010-2011. He joined the Achilles staff for the 2011/12 campaign as their Assistant Manager.

League 4/32
F.A. Cup 2/10