Weston McKennie says Leeds United supporters are among the best he’s played in front of.
McKennie was speaking on the American Dream Podcast where he was reflected on his difficult time at Elland Road, admitting the stick he received towards the end was justified, but a little harsh.
The 25-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Leeds after joining from Juventus on deadline day in January.
Despite the excitement surrounding his arrival, McKennie failed to live up to expectations in West Yorkshire and by the end of his time at the club, became a real lightning rod for supporter criticism.
He made 19 appearances in total for Leeds as the Whites were relegated from the Premier League with a whimper, failing to win any of their last nine matches.
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McKennie praises Leeds fans
Despite the criticism he received both during matches and social media, he believes only Schalke can better Leeds supporters from his experience during his career so far.
He said: “The fans and atmosphere was great, probably the second best fans in terms of support for the team I’ve had in my career outside of Schalke. But that can go either way when they’re vocal, both for or against, and towards the end it was very much against but I won’t say that it wasn’t merited.
“For the level I know I can play and they expect me to play, I can say that. Maybe not as harsh as they [were], but at the same time it’s passion. When you have expectations for someone and it doesn’t pan out, that’s what happens.”
There is no doubt McKennie warranted some of the stick he got but at the same time, it did on some occasions cross the line into abuse.
Thankfully both parties appear to have moved on with Leeds at the beginning of a fresh new era and McKennie back in the fold at Juventus.