Leeds United are now on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, according to The Athletic.
What’s the latest Leeds United transfer news?
After falling behind Illan Meslier in the pecking order, the veteran Spanish ‘keeper made only three Premier League starts last season and was heavily criticised following the club’s shock loss to Crawley in the FA Cup back in January.
Largely out of the picture at Elland Road, the former Real Madrid custodian has moved back to La Liga and joined up with Elche on a season-long loan.
Is this the end of Casilla’s Leeds career?
Given just how far he looks behind Meslier, it does seem likely.
Still, Casilla will still have another year left on his contract (believed to be worth in the region of £32k-per-week via SpotRac) if he does return to the club in the summer of 2022.
What options does Marcelo Bielsa have?
Here’s where it gets interesting.
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While Bielsa has shown a willingness to trust young players during his time in West Yorkshire, not bringing in a more experienced option ahead of Caprile seems risky. According to FBREF data, the Frenchman produced the fourth-highest save percentage in the Premier League (75.1%) despite Leeds allowing the fourth-highest number of shots against them per game (14.7, via WhoScored).
So, the idea of replacing a goalkeeper capable of pulling off saves even after the opposition pepper his goal with shots with a largely inexperienced youngster would be reckless.
Which goalkeepers have Leeds been linked with?
Back in April, The Daily Mail suggested the club were keen on a move for West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone, although convincing him to move to a team where he’s likely to be second choice could prove difficult.
Elsewhere, Bradford’s prodigious young starlet Darryl Ombang is said to be close to joining the club. At 16 years of age, however, it’s hard to see him thrown straight into the first-team squad.
What have Leeds said about Casilla?
In a statement posted on the club’s official website yesterday, Leeds wished the player well.
“Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has joined La Liga outfit Elche CF on loan until the end of the season,” it read.
“The 34-year-old joined the Whites from Real Madrid in January 2019 and has made 62 appearances for the club.
“However, due to the fine form of Illan Meslier, Casilla found game time for the Whites limited last season and he made just five senior outings in all competitions.
“We wish Kiko well at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero.”
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