Adam Forshaw

Adam John Forshaw (born 8 October 1991) is an English professional footballer who plays for Leeds United as a midfielder.

Adam Forshaw
Forshaw preparing to take a free kick for Brentford in 2013
Personal information
Full name Adam John Forshaw[1]
Date of birth (1991-10-08) 8 October 1991 (age 29)[2]
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[3]
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Leeds United
Number 4
Youth career
2000–2010 Everton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2012 Everton 1 (0)
2012Brentford (loan) 7 (0)
2012–2014 Brentford 82 (11)
2014–2015 Wigan Athletic 16 (1)
2015–2018 Middlesbrough 92 (2)
2018– Leeds United 49 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 May 2020 (UTC)

He began his career in the academy at Premier League side Everton and came to prominence at Brentford, with whom he won the 2013–14 League One Player of the Year award.

Club career


Forshaw joined the Everton academy at age seven.[4] Prior to the beginning of the 2008–09 season, he was offered a place as a first-year scholar and soon claimed a regular place in the U18 squad.[5] Towards the end of an injury-hit 2008–09 season,[5] Forshaw made his reserve team debut on 29 March 2009, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2–0 win over Wigan Athletic.[6] First team manager David Moyes gave Forshaw his competitive debut in a dead rubber Europa League group stage match against BATE Borisov on 17 December 2009, in which he played the full 90 minutes.[7] Forshaw was an unused substitute on two other occasions during the 2009–10 season and was the leading appearance-maker for the reserve team.[8][9]

Forshaw made his Premier League debut as an 82nd-minute substitute in a 3–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on 9 April 2011 and was an unused substitute for a further three league games towards the end of the 2010–11 season.[10] Forshaw signed a one-year contract extension in June 2011 and was an unused substitute for the first team on two occasions during the 2011–12 season.[5][11] He spent one month away on loan towards the end of the season and won the reserve team's Player of the Year award.[5][12] Forshaw was not offered a new contract and was released in May 2012.[3]


On 24 February 2012, Forshaw joined League One club Brentford on a one-month youth loan.[13] He made his debut the following day as a 69th-minute substitute for Sam Saunders in a 0–0 draw with Scunthorpe United.[14] Forshaw made seven appearances and returned to Everton after sustaining a broken jaw in a 2–0 victory over Rochdale on 24 March.[14][15]

Forshaw joined Brentford permanently on a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee in May 2012.[16] He scored the first professional goal of his career in a 1–0 victory over Oldham Athletic on 22 September 2012.[17] Forshaw received the first red card of his career after picking up a second yellow card in a 2–1 league victory over Crawley Town on 26 February 2013.[18] After Brentford missed out on automatic promotion to the Championship following a 1–0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers,[19] it was Forshaw who scored the winning penalty in the playoff semi-final shoot-out against Swindon Town to send the Bees to the final.[20] Forshaw played in the final against Yeovil Town at Wembley Stadium, but a 2–1 defeat consigned Brentford to another season in League One.[21] He made 53 appearances during the 2012–13 season and scored three goals.[22]

Forshaw signed a new three-year contract on 27 June 2013 and scored his first goal of the 2013–14 season in a 3–1 victory over Sheffield United on 10 August.[23][24] With the absence of regular penalty taker Kevin O'Connor through injury, Forshaw assumed the role and scored his third penalty of the season (his fifth goal overall) in a 3–0 away league victory over Preston North End on 21 December.[25] A run of 24 consecutive league starts ended when he was left out of the squad for a 2–0 win over Port Vale at Griffin Park on 11 January 2014 due to a calf problem.[26][27] On 16 March, Forshaw was named as the 2014 League One Player of the Year.[28] Forshaw was sent off for the second time of his career in a 1–0 defeat to Swindon Town on 12 April and owing to being suspended, he was absent for Brentford's automatic promotion-clinching 1–0 victory over Preston North End on 18 April.[24][29] His final appearance of the season came in a 2–2 draw with Milton Keynes Dons on 21 April and the following day,[24] he underwent surgery to correct a long-standing ankle problem.[30] Forshaw made 40 appearances during the 2013–14 season and scored eight goals.[24] He was also named in the League One PFA Team of the Year[31] and in the League One Team of the Year.[32]

After missing Brentford's first 2014–15 pre-season friendly in July 2014, manager Mark Warburton stated that Forshaw would be available for the final pre-season games.[33] In early August, Forshaw was told to stay away from the club's training ground after two "totally unacceptable" bids for the player were received from Championship rivals Wigan Athletic, managed by former Bees manager Uwe Rösler.[34] After missing the early regular-season matches with a hamstring strain,[35] it was announced on 25 August that Wigan Athletic had met Brentford's valuation of Forshaw and he was free to talk with the Latics.[36] Forshaw departed the Bees on 1 September and made 100 appearances and scored 11 goals during his two spells with the club.[3][37]

Wigan Athletic

On 1 September 2014, Forshaw joined Championship side Wigan Athletic on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee,[38] believed to be approximately £2.5 million.[39] The move reunited him with his former Brentford manager Uwe Rösler, but the move proved to be an abortive one, with Rösler being sacked in November 2014 and after 17 appearances and one goal, Forshaw left the DW Stadium on 28 January 2015.[40][41][42]


On 28 January 2015, Forshaw joined Championship club Middlesbrough on a 3+12-year contract for an undisclosed fee,[43] believed to be £2 million.[44] In what remained of the 2014–15 season, he made 20 appearances and experienced another playoff final defeat,[42] when he looked on as an unused substitute as Boro were beaten 2–0 by Norwich City.[45]

Forshaw made 34 appearances and scored two goals during a successful 2015–16 season,[46] in which Middlesbrough clinched automatic promotion to the Premier League with a second-place finish.[47] He signed a new four-year contract in August 2016 and made 35 appearances during a disappointing 2016–17 season,[48][49] at the end of which Boro were relegated straight back to the Championship.[47]

Forshaw managed 14 appearances during the first half of the 2017–18 season before departing the club in January 2018.[50][51] During three years at the Riverside, Forshaw made 79 appearances and scored two goals.[3]

Leeds United

On 18 January 2018, Forshaw transferred to Championship club Leeds United for a reported £4.5 million fee and signed a four-and-a-half-year contract.[52]

Forshaw made his Leeds debut starting in Leeds' 0–0 draw against Hull City on 30 January 2018.[53] After starting for the side since his debut, on 24 February Forshaw missed Leeds' 1–0 win against his former side Brentford with his wife going into labour.[54] He aggravated a previous calf injury against Sheffield Wednesday on 17 March, which limited his number of performances before the end of the season.[55]

During the 2018 preseason, Forshaw sustained a toe injury which on 3 August was reported to require surgery and keep him out for up to eight weeks.[56] He returned from injury on 15 September, as a substitute in the 1–1 draw against Millwall.[57]

Forshaw was highly praised for his performance in a newer role as defensive midfielder in a 2–0 win against Derby County on 11 January 2019, with Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay describing it as 'arguably his best for Leeds'.[58][59]

During the 2018–19 season, Forshaw played 32 games in all competitions, after Leeds finished the regular season in third place after dropping out of the automatic promotion places with 3 games left after a defeat to 10-man Wigan Athletic on 19 April,[60] Leeds qualified for the playoffs, Forshaw started the first leg for Leeds in the semi-final playoffs match against sixth-placed Derby County but was replaced by Jamie Shackleton after an injury in the 1st half during a 1–0 win at Pride Park, to bring into a 1–0 aggregate lead into the home leg at Elland Road, however Leeds were beaten on 4–3 aggregate over the two legs. With Forshaw out injured as Leeds lost 4–2 in an encounter that saw both teams reduced to 10 men and Derby progress to the final against Aston Villa.[61]

On 8 August 2019, it was revealed that Leeds had rejected bids for Forshaw during the 2019 transfer window in order to keep him at the club.[62]

Forshaw started the 2019–20 season strongly alongside Mateusz Klich and Kalvin Phillips in central midfield, however after seven games picked up a hip injury. The injury was at first judged to be minor, but on 4 January 2020 after 16 weeks out injured, head coach Marcelo Bielsa revealed that Forshaw was still trying to recover from his hip injury.[63] In February, Forshaw was sent to the Steadman Clinic in Colorado, United States, for surgery and was ruled out of the rest of the season.[64]

After the English professional football season was paused in March 2020 due to Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on association football, the season was resumed during June, where Forshaw earned promotion with Leeds to the Premier League and also become the EFL Championship Champions for the 2019–20 season in July after the successful resumption of the season.[65]

By January 2021, Forshaw had missed more games for Leeds out injured then he had actually played a part in, with Bielsa declaring at a 25 January press conference:

The problem with Forshaw is a little longer [than for Gaetano Berardi]: he hasn’t played for over a year now. And a medical decision taken recently admit us to think he will play again in the not too distant future. Forshaw is a professional who looks after his health very much, that’s why I think that as soon as his injury problems are resolved he will be able to compete very quickly.[66]

Forshaw returned to action playing 82 minutes in a Leeds U23 match vs Aston Villa U23 on the 16th April 2021, he sustained a minor hamstring injury which would keep him out for another period of time.[67]

International career

In November 2016, Forshaw was linked with a call up the senior England national side with England manager Gareth Southgate assessing him.[68][69]


In August 2019, Forshaw was one of the main stars of the Leeds United documentary Take Us Home, documenting the 2018–19 season, on Amazon Prime. The documentary was narrated by Academy Award winning actor and Leeds fan Russell Crowe.[70][71][72][73]

Career statistics

As of match played 28 September 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Everton 2009–10[7] Premier League 0000001[lower-alpha 1]010
2010–11[74] 10000010
2011–12[14] 00000000
Total 1000001020
Brentford (loan) 2011–12[14] League One 7000000070
Brentford 2012–13[22] League One 43360103[lower-alpha 2]0533
2013–14[24] 398100000408
Total 891170103010011
Wigan Athletic 2014–15[42] Championship 1611000171
Middlesbrough 2014–15[42] Championship 1802[lower-alpha 2]0200
2015–16[46] 2921040342
2016–17[49] Premier League 3400010350
2017–18[50] Championship 1100030140
Total 9221080201032
Leeds United 2017–18[50] Championship 12000000000120
2018–19[75] Championship 3001000001[lower-alpha 2]0320
2019–20[76] Championship 700010000080
Total 49010000010520
Career total 24714100100106027414
  1. Appearance in UEFA Europa League
  2. Appearances in EFL play-offs




Leeds United



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