Leeds United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are relishing their team’s return to Championship action when they host Bolton Wanderers on Good Friday, hoping to record just their second league victory of 2018.
Paul Heckingbottom’s men were very much in play-off contention at the turn of the year, but have found the going tough since then with just one win to show for their 13 Championship matches, which has thus seen them slip to 14th place and 12 points adrift of the top six. Yet they will fancy their chances of a return to form when they entertain Phil Parkinson’s Bolton on Friday, what with the Trotters 19th in the division, and having failed to win any of their last six away games.
Subsequently, there are many expectant Leeds fans in the Tavern at present ahead of Friday’s encounter, with our resident Whites supporters hoping their side can build some momentum between now and the end of the season to take into the 2018/19 campaign.
Yet many of those Leeds supporters lining up at the bar are already thinking about the summer and what business their side may seek to do, with several believing that £2.25 million-rated goalkeeper Tim Krul (as per Transfermarkt) would be the ideal addition to bolster the shot-stopping ranks.
Ultimately, it has been a tough time for the current crop of goalkeepers at Elland Road this season, with summer signing Felix Wiedwald starting their opening 11 games of the campaign, only to be dropped in favour of Andy Lonergan, whose place he reclaimed just seven games later.
Yet it has been Bailey Peacock-Farrell who has had the gloves in their last three Championship matches to further underline the uncertainty surrounding the goalkeeping department, and while the 21-year-old performed well in their 2-2 draw at Reading, it remains to be seen whether he is the long-term solution to their crisis.
And if Leeds are serious about sustaining a Championship promotion challenge next season, they need a clear number one, as doing so would banish an uncertainty, and indeed give the backline the much-needed stability required to succeed in the second tier.
And with Brighton’s Krul out of contract in the summer (as per Transfermarkt), he could be the answer to their woes.
The Netherlands international is best known to English football fans for his highly impressive spell at Newcastle United, for whom he played 185 games, keeping 53 clean sheets and conceding 279 goals along the way.
In fact, the 29-year-old was the club’s number one for many seasons during their stint in the top-flight, including their remarkable run to fifth place under Alan Pardew back in the 2011/12 campaign, a season in which he played in all 38 of their Premier League games.
And while things haven’t gone particular well for Krul since then, it’s clear that the Dutchman is a hugely adept and reliable goalkeeper, the sort that can generate confidence in a defence, and ultimately provide the stability required in a very important area of the pitch.
As such, Heckingbottom simply must urge owner Andrea Radrizzani to make a move for the 29-year-old this summer.
Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!