Leeds United F.C. History
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Bellusci, Giuseppe (Peppe)

2014-Current (Player Leeds Details)(Player Details)

Centre Back

Born: Trebisacce, Italy: 21-08-1989

Debut: v Watford (a): 23-08-2014

Height & Weight: 6ft 1ins 12st 4lb

Born in Southern Italy, he started his football career with Ascoli on the mid-adriatic coast of Italy. He came through the junior and youth ranks of Ascoli Calcio and made his debut for the first team in Serie A in the 2006-07 season. After twice sitting unused on the bench in the 3-3 away draw at Calcio Catania on 3rd May 2007 and in the 0-1 defeat by Torino FC three days later, he was called into the action after just five minutes play in the 3-2 home win over US Palermo on 13th May 2007, when Luigi di Biagio was injured and could take no further part in the game. While he did not start in Biagio's absence in the next game, a 0-1 defeat at Chievo Verona a week later, he did come on with twelve minutes still on the clock to replace Michelangelo Minieri. He similarly came on for the final ten minutes a week later in a 2-1 home win over Cagliari Calcio for Simone Pesce. Ascoli were relegated at the end of the season and in 2007-08 he started one and came on as a substitute in one in Serie B. He played a full game in the 0-0 away draw at UC AlbinoLeffe on 22nd December 2007 and replaced Andrea Giallombardo for the last thirteen minutes of the 1-1 away draw with US Triestina on 19th January 2008 and he had been an unused substitute on six occasions in the early part of the season. He did play three full games and come on for the final ten minutes in another in the Coppa Italia. The following season 2008-09 saw him establish himself in the Ascoli first team and from the beginning of November he was almost an ever-present and he finished the season having started twenty-nine games in Serie B and sitting unused on the bench for a further three. He opened his goalscoring sheet with a right foot shot in the twelfth minute of the 2-1 away win at US Triestina on 7th February 2009 when he gave his side a 2-0 lead. He also had one game unused on the bench in the Coppa Italia. His form was rewarded when he was selected for the Italian Under -Twenty-One side and started the game in Austria which was drawn 2-2 at the Franz Furst Stadium in Vienna. He played sixty-eight minutes until he was replaced by Michael Cia. He played a further four games at Under-Twenty-One level, all in the UEFA Qualifying competition Group Three playing full games against Wales in a 2-1 win in Swansea on 4th September 2009, Luxembourg in a 2-0 home win at Silvio Piola Stadium at Novara four days later, Bosnia Herzogovina in a 1-1 draw at the Danilo Martelli Stadium, home of AC Mantova in Mantua on 13th October 2009 and finally in a 2-0 victory over Hungary in Italy on 2nd March 2010 to take his tally to five. By that time he had left Ascoli for Serie A side Catania on 25th June 2009, after starting thirty, coming from the bench five times and being unused substitute on eleven occasions an in the Coppa Italia he had started three and been a substitute once and an unused substitute once while at Ascoli. He was not an instant regular at Calcio Catania but after being unused on the bench for the club's second game of the season on 30th August 2009 at Parma FC he started in the third game of the season in a 4-2 defeat at Udinese Calcio on 13th September 2009, but was replaced by Jorge Martinez after seventy-one minutes. He was an unused substitute for the next two games before coming on for Nicolas Spolli in the seventy-first minute of the 1-1 home draw with AS Roma on 27th September 2009. He then started the next game in a 0-0 draw at FC Bari on 3rd October when he played a full game. After that he was in and out of the squad for the rest of the season and in the end he had started seven and come off the bench five times while remaining unused eight times, as Catania finished thirteenth with forty-five points. In the Coppa Italia, after being unused in the third round, he started the other three games as Catania progressed to the quarter finals before being beaten 0-1 at AS Roma, with Bellusci playing full games apart from being sent off for a second yellow card in the fifty-eighth minute of the game at Roma. He also started in the Primavera Play-off at Milan Primavera. The 2010-11 season saw him miss twenty -three games due to injury and this restricted his starts in Serie A to just six and three games from the bench as the Scicilian side were again thirteenth with forty-six points. He did have one start in the Primavera and took his Under-Twenty-One caps to six when he started in a 2-2 draw with Denmark at Torquato Bresciani Stadium in Viareggio on 11th August 2010 when he gave way to Danilo D'Ambrosio at half-time. the following season he was more injury free and started thirty and came off the bench twice and being unused in four more, as Catania rose to eleventh with forty-eight points, while in the Copa Italia he started once and was an unused substitute once. In 2012-13 he was suspended for four and unavailable through injury for two games but still managed to start twenty-two times in Serie A and come off the bench four times and remain unused on the bench in four games, as Catania rose to a record eighth position with a club record fifty-six points, while in the Coppa Italia he started in three games. Once more he had injury problems in the 2013-14 season, missing eleven with ligament trouble and four with muscle strain and also missing two more due to suspension. So his nineteen starts and one game from the bench in Serie A was his contribution for the season in which Catania finished eighteenth with thirty-two points, and were relegated from Serie A. So after eighty four starts and fifteen games from the bench and being unused sixteen times in the League and starting seven and being unused in two in the Cup, on 12th August 2014, he signed a one year loan agreement with Leeds United. Due to failure to get international clearance quick enough, he missed the game at home to Middlesbrough on 16th August and on 21st August Leeds decided to sign him on a permanent basis and paid Catania a fee of 1.6million and agreed a contract of four years with the player, which expires in June 2018. After being an unused substitute in the 0-2 home defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion on 19th August, he made his debut when he started in the 1-4 away defeat at Watford on 23rd August 2014. It was not a successful debut as he conceded a penalty and was given a straight red card, in the fifty-seventh minute, from which Watford got their second goal to go ahead 1-2. After serving his suspension he made his Elland Road debut in a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers on 30th August. His first goal came from a stunning free-kick, in the eighty second minute, to give United a 2-1 lead, in a fine 3-1 away win at Dean Court, Bournemouth on 16th September. He has established himself as United's main central defender and added a second goal with a left foot shot to get the equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday on 4th October 2014. He was the source of controversy in the game at Norwich City on 21st October 2014, when he was accused by a home team player, Cameron Jerome, of racial abusive language. An F.A. hearing took place on 22nd December and he was found not guilty in their decision of 7th February. He also ran into disciplinary problems not only in his first game at Watford but also saw him red-carded again at home to Bournemouth on 20th January 2015. He remained a relative regular through his discipliary and minor injury problems but after being on the bench for thehome game with Norwich on 14th April 2015, he was one of the six Cellino purchases that all pulled out of the following game with Charlton Athletic, claiming injury and all the players never played the remaining fixtures. If there was any doubt about the better players leaving Leeds they were dispelled on 2nd July 2015 when Bellusci and Antenucci's agent declared both would be staying with Leeds and had been told by Cellino they were important to his plans for the new season. While spending a lot of time on the bench and remaining unused in the early part of the season, he was one of the three players vying for the two central defensive roles with Souleymane Bamba and Liam Cooper. Suspension and injuries often dictated the two players chosen but Steve Evans revealed that although he had received two offers for Bellusci towards the end of 2015, when he had a spell on the bench, he was very much part of his plans. He had a succession of errors which did not help the club, scoring an own goal in the 0-3 loss at Middlesbrough on 27th September 2015. In the home defeat by Rotherham United, with two minutes on the clock, Leeds appeared to be heading for a draw when Bellusci made a hash of an easy clearance, giving the visitors possession and leaving keeper Silvestri little option but to bring down a Rotherham attacker in the box. This left them with ten men and, being out of substitutes, ten men. Bellusci had to go in goal and failed to save the penalty. The incident had lost Leeds a point and caused the suspension of the keeper. In that game, with rookie keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell on debut in the ensuing fixture against Queens Park Rangers on 5th April 2016, United seemed to be holding on to a cleansheet and three points for their single goal, when, in injury time at the end of the game, Bellusci had another rush of blood, which saw him flatten a Rangers attacker in the box. The resulting penalty was converted and two more points were lost and the keeper's cleansheet spoilt. He only started one game subsequent to that, and did not make the squad for the final three games. On Friday 1st July 2016 Bellusci signed a one year loan agreement with Italian Serie A side Empoli. It had a clause which allowed the Italian club to purchase the Twenty-six year-old former Italian Under-Twenty-One international, who is under contract with Leeds until June 2018.

League 54/32
F.A. Cup 30
League Cup 10

(To 2015-16)