Manchester City's English goalkeeper Joe Hart sits on the substitutes bench for the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on August 13, 2016. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dropped goalkeeper Joe Hart in favour of Willy Caballero for his opening Premier League game against Sunderland on August 13. / AFP / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

According to The Sun, Derby County are ready to battle it out with Besiktas in the pursuit of Joe Hart. The ex-Manchester City goalkeeper could leave Burnley after his current contract at Turf Moor comes to an end this summer.

In this article, we will discuss why fellow Championship outfit Leeds United should also join the race to sign Hart as they prepare for a much-awaited return to the Premier League next season.

Lack of a reliable goalkeeper

Leeds United have performed really well in the defensive department this season, attaining the best record in the league. However, the Whites still lack the presence of a reliable goalkeeper.

First-choice ‘keeper Kiko Casilla has failed to provide the security in between the sticks. He has made numerous individual mistakes and is pretty much the weak link in the Leeds backline. The only reason the Spaniard has still managed to remain a regular member of the first-team is due to Marcelo Bielsa’s stubbornness when it comes to team selection.

This leads us to second-choice ‘keeper Illan Meslier. The Frenchman has performed well in the past few matches and is regarded as one of the most talented young goalkeepers in Europe. However, his lack of experience at the highest level of football makes him an unreliable option in between the sticks for Leeds United next season.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 06: Illan Meslier of Leeds United gestures during the FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal FC and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium on January 06, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Experience and leadership

Hart is currently one of the most experienced players in the Premier League. The Englishman has made nearly 350 competitive appearances with Manchester City while featuring in 340 league matches overall. He has also notched up as many as 75 caps for the English national team.

His experience at the highest level of football, therefore, could certainly come in handy for an otherwise young and inexperienced Leeds United setup. But more importantly, Hart can also instil confidence in the backline and provide leadership to the table for the Whites.

It could be essential for the club to organise themselves defensively throughout the course of the campaign. Not to mention, the ex-Man City star could bring the winning mentality to the team as well, having won the Premier League twice during his time at the Etihad.

A financially feasible option

What makes Hart such an appealing target for Leeds United is that he will be available for free this summer as his existing contract at Turf Moor expires at the end of the campaign.

This could be a boon for the Whites, as they will have to sign a few other new players in an attempt to prepare themselves for the rigours of first division football next season. However, the Englishman could demand lucrative wages due to the reasons mentioned earlier in the article.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.