Marcelo Bielsa has done a sublime job at Leeds United. In his first season, and with mostly the same squad as they had last season, the team that finished 13th last season finds themselves at the top of the pile. However, with goalkeeping issues threatening to derail their promotion push, Victor Orta simply has to gift Karl Darlow to Marcelo Bielsa.
Karl Darlow has fallen out of favour at Newcastle United since he was the club’s number one when they were in the Championship, and it’s likely that Newcastle would allow the shot-stopper to leave on the cheap this month. His arrival would be a timely boost for the Whites too, seeing as they’ve lost their last three games on the spin for the first time under Marcelo Bielsa’s management.
The problems that the Elland Road faithful have are mostly surrounding their goalkeeper, Bailey Peacock-Farrell. The Northern Ireland international is just 22-years-old, so his lack of experience can easily be blamed for his recent string of subpar displays. However, if Bielsa is to become the man to take Leeds back to the Premier League for the first time since 2004 when the Whites were relegated.
Whilst Karl Darlow may not be the most amazing goalkeeper, and he’s certainly not as good as Nigel Martyn was back in the day for Leeds, he could be the man to help Leeds get back to the Premier League and keep them in England’s top flight on a long-term basis. It was Martyn who was one of the unsung heroes of the Leeds side that finished 5th, 4th, 3rd, 4th and 5th between 1997-2002, and Darlow could have a similar effect in helping them maintain their Premier League status.
Leeds fans have been treated to some magical Bielsa football this season and have already had some games under the Argentine which they will never forget. Over Christmas, they enjoyed sensational 3-2 wins over Aston Villa and Blackburn that both involved fairytale-esque comebacks, however, had Darlow been in goal for those goals instead of Peacock-Farrell, the comebacks wouldn’t need to be made.
Whilst the fans would love to see Darlow brought in, they don’t want to see Peacock-Farrell departing the club. The goalkeeper is incredibly young and has so much to learn in the game. If they could keep him as an understudy to Darlow then there’s no reason why he can’t continue to learn the ropes and one day usurp the Newcastle man after he’s helped them become a steady Premier League outfit.