Friday, December 2, 2022

Why Leeds United Shouldn’t Fall Into the Trap Of Signing This Manchester City Goalkeeper?

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

According to the reports from Chilean media outlet En Cancha, Leeds United have emerged as a possible destination for Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. The report adds that Marcelo Bielsa values the Chilean’s footwork and Bravo could be his option to replace Kiko Casilla.

The Spaniard Casilla has come under the scanner on the back of some of his performances. He still has a long term deal at Elland Road which will keep him at the club until 2023. Given the former Real Madrid man’s long term contract, it would be highly unlikely of United to show him the door in the summer.

Claudio Bravo is an equally experienced candidate who has won the biggest of prizes with his club and country. Bravo captained Chile during their glory years where they won back to back Copa America titles. The Chilean has also won the Champions League with Barcelona. He was picked up by Manchester City after he struggled to start over Marc-André ter Stegen.

Pep Guardiola brought the Chilean goalkeeper on a priority basis as he wasn’t confident of Joe Hart’s ability to play out from the back. Many thought of Bravo as the perfect Guardiola goalkeeper with his on the ball ability and confidence on the ball. However, Bravo failed to do the primary job of a goalkeeper, i.e. save shots.

He was guilty of being beaten far too easily, and the goalkeeper conceded 26 goals in 22 Premier League appearances in the 2016-17 campaign. Guardiola soon realised that Bravo wasn’t going to be good enough for the next season. He brought in Ederson for £35m which was then the record transfer fee for a goalkeeper. The Brazilian is firmly the first choice goalkeeper at Etihad now.

Should Casilla be replaced?

Casilla has the odd moment of brilliance in him, but the Spaniard comes with his fair share of eccentric decision making. Who can forget his abysmal performance in the second leg of the playoffs against Derby County? His handling of aerial balls also gives heartburn to the Leeds faithful, and that is why the Whites are susceptible while defending set-pieces. Many would agree that he hasn’t lived up to the expectation of a player who has 3 Champions League medals. Hence, many might want to see a replacement coming in for him.

Why Claudio Bravo is not the answer?

As for Bravo, he is almost in a similar boat as Casilla, and the Chilean is well past his prime. Marcelo Bielsa had worked with Bravo during his time with the Chile national team. However, Bielsa is unlikely to make a decision based on sentiment and the 36-year-old is clearly on a downward trajectory. Like Casilla, Bravo also seems to have a rush of blood while keeping, and his decision making has let him down on multiple occasions.

The Chilean will not be a significant upgrade over Casilla. The Whites would be better off giving a young gun like Illan Meslier more chances who has looked impressive in the few opportunities he has received at Leeds United.

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