Speaking to Football League World, Leeds United legend Ian Harte has claimed that he ‘doesn’t see why‘ banned goalkeeper Kiko Casilla can’t play for the club again after his ban for racism towards West Bromwich Albion winger Jonathan Leko.
Harte, who made 199 league starts for the Whites over a period spanning nearly ten years (SoccerBase), having come through their academy to go on and dazzle supporters with his brilliant left foot, has now claimed that ‘keeper Casilla could still have a future at Elland Road despite his racism ban. The Spaniard was found guilty of racially abusing Leko during an encounter at the Valley back in September 2019, receiving an eight-match ban and being fined £60,000 as well as being instructed to attend a face-to-face education seminar (BBC).
Since then, young loanee stand-in Illan Meslier had filled in for the shot-stopper – with a report from Football Insider suggesting that Leeds could well make the move permanent. However, according to Harte, that doesn’t mean Casilla’s career in Yorkshire is definitely over.
“I don’t see why he won’t play for the club again,” explained Harte to Football League World.
“The young goalkeeper who’s in at the moment is a very, very talented keeper and it’s a difficult situation for the club. I’m sure Leeds will be dealing with it themselves behind-closed-doors to decide how to take it forward.
“He’ll be disciplined, he’ll probably be heavily fined as well. It’s not good but all that we can do is focus on the positives and that’s that Leeds are doing well.”
Indeed, it is not crazy to suggest that Casilla could serve his suspension and work his way back into the Leeds team even despite his controversial ban, especially considering that Marcelo Bielsa’s men will need all the quality they can muster in their bid to make a Premier League return. However, it is necessary for the club to handle this situation with grace and subtlety given the seriousness of his wrongdoing.
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