Leeds ready to let high earner leave on free transfer

Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla

Leeds United are reportedly willing to let goalkeeper Kiko Casilla leave on a free in a bid to get the Spaniard off the wage bill. 

What’s the latest news regarding Kiko Casilla?

Football Insider has reported that Leeds are planning on letting the former Real Madrid shot-stopper leave on a free transfer as opposed to asking for a fee for the player. 

The 34-year-old joined Marcelo Bielsa’s side in January 2019 and became one of the squad’s high earners on a £40,000-a-week deal. 

However, due to his status as a fringe player, Leeds are now looking to offload Casilla. 

Why hasn’t he featured much this season?

Casilla ultimately lost his place in the Leeds starting XI last season when he had to serve an eight-game ban for racially abusing former Charlton Athletic man Jonathan Leko.

Illan Meslier replaced the Spaniard and has thrived as Bielsa’s go-to goalkeeper.

This season, the 21-year-old has featured in 28 of Leeds’ 29 Premier League games and has emerged as one of the strongest goalkeepers in the division.

According to FBRef, Meslier has faced the second-most shots in the English top-flight but has still managed a save percentage of 73.5%.

Meanwhile, Casilla has featured in just one Premier League game, as Meslier was injured, and made another two appearances in cup competitions, as per WhoScored

How much could Leeds save by offloading Casilla?

Although the club wouldn’t be receiving a transfer fee for Casilla’s potential departure, Bielsa’s side would save £4m by offloading Casilla. 

By parting ways with the goalkeeper, this would allow the club to reinvest in other areas or potentially bring another back-up stopper on lesser wages.

Why was Casilla made such a high earner when he moved to Elland Road? 

Leeds signed Casilla on a four-and-a-half-year deal back in 2019 and it appeared that the Spanish international was going to be a huge part of their plans moving forward. 

He arrived at Elland Road with four years of experience at Real Madrid and an international cap to his name. It seemed like a step in the right direction for Leeds to bring in a player of this quality, who would command a substantial wage. 

However, Casilla has failed to make his mark and has ultimately been benched by a 21-year-old with minimal previous experience. 

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Who is this former Leeds player?

Will Leeds need to sign a new goalkeeper?

Meslier has proven that he’s capable of becoming Leeds’ number one stopper for years to come.

However, the Frenchman would lack an adequate backup if Casilla were to move on. Next in the pecking order is youngster Elia Caprile, who is yet to feature for the first team. 

So while Leeds are eyeing the savings they could make in letting Casilla leave on a free, they’ll still need to spend on a suitable replacement. 

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