Born in Lisbon, Leonardo Da Silva Lopes arrived in England aged 12 with his mother, brother and sister, and was spotted by Peterborough United whilst playing in a local league game two years later.
Current Tigers Head Coach Grant McCann was coaching Posh’s U15s at the time and immediately recommended him then Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson. It was a recommendation that was listened to – as he was handed his first-team debut at the age of just 16 when he played 66 minutes in a 4-3 League One win over Crawley Town.
He featured eight times in the third tier of English football during 2015/16 before establishing himself as a regular fixture in the first-team at London Road the following campaign.
The highly-rated box-to-box midfielder made a total 46 appearances in all competitions, scoring his first senior goal in a League Cup defeat away at then Premier League Swansea City. Three more goals followed – in Posh’s 2-2 draw with Notts County in the FA Cup before bagging a brace in a 4-2 win against Bristol Rovers in April 2017 to open his league account.
Another 52 appearances followed in 2017/18 which saw him reach a century of appearances for Peterborough despite only being 19-years-of-age. He took his overall tally in a Posh shirt to 108 by the end of that season before departing for pastures new when joining Wigan Athletic ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
His time at the DW Stadium proved to be frustrating though as he made just three appearances for the Latics before heading out to Gillingham on loan in January where he featured 14 times in League One, scoring once in a 4-2 win away at Wimbledon in March.
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