After back to back league defeats against Hull City and Nottingham Forest, Leeds United are back in the winning ways after they beat Derby County 2-0 to strengthen their hold at the top of the Championship standings. But the injuries so far have hindered their progress and Marcelo Bielsa, the Elland Road boss, has admitted he is eyeing new additions this month to deal with the casualties.
The gaffer is heavily reliant on 22-year-old Bailey Peacock-Farrell in goal following the season-ending injury blow of Jamal Blackman. The youngster, though impressive of late, had a series of erroneous outings in the early months and is now likely to be replaced by Real Madrid custodian Kiko Casilla who is in talks to complete a switch to West Y0rkshire according to Sky Sources.
Casilla, 32, progressed through Castilla before completing a switch to La Liga counterparts Espanyol back in the summer of 2007. The Spaniard gradually established himself as a first-choice before making a return to his boyhood side eight years later.
Although recruited as the understudy to Keylor Navas, Casilla featured 43 times for the Blancos prior to this campaign. However, the high-profile signing of Thibaut Courtois has sent him further down the pecking order at Bernabeu and the player, seeking first-team football, must welcome the move to be a part of Bielsa’s Leeds revolution.
The Whites are aiming a Premier League return for the first time since being relegated to the second tier in 2004. But the fear of falling apart could not be dismissed amidst a series of fitness woes. This, however, should be lessened if the club successfully pulls off such deals to accelerate the promotion push.
Casilla, meanwhile, has won three successive Champions League titles as well as the 2016-17 La Liga crown along with three FIFA Club World Cup, two UEFA Super Cup and one Supercopa de España. He also made one senior appearance for Spain back in November 2014 versus Germany under the then manager Vicente del Bosque who called him up as third-choice behind Iker Casillas and David De Gea.
His enormous experience of the highest order would enrich Leeds in their target of attaining their season objectives. He might not have played a single competitive fixture this season; but his reflexes, shot-stopping ability and concentration between the sticks are a few of the many attributes the Whites have lacked ever since Robert Green left the club after a productive 2016-17 season under Garry Monk.
They are in need of adding further reinforcements in the upcoming weeks, but roping in Casilla would indeed be a masterstroke from the league leaders to reassure the supporters that Leeds are finally moving towards the right direction after years of misery and disappointment.
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