Leeds United supporters have been pretty upbeat in recent times after seeing their team head into the current international break sat at the summit of the Championship table.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men were tipped by many during the off-season to be challenging for promotion to the Premier League this term following the appointment of the Argentine, and they have certainly looked the part so far. The Yorkshire giants have won four and drawn the other two of their six league games to underline their promotion credentials, with victories over Stoke City, Derby County, Rotherham United, and Norwich City intertwined with draws against Swansea City and Middlesbrough to propel the Whites to top spot in the division.
As such, there have been many thrilled Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have used the international break to look back at their side’s summer transfer business, which saw quite an overhaul of the playing squad at Elland Road.
And one man who left the club was goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald, and while the Whites made a £450,000 loss (as per Transfermarkt) on the German shot-stopper, they do appear to have profited from his exit given he proved that he simply wasn’t good enough to do a job for the Yorkshire heavyweights.
Ultimately, the 28-year-old arrived at Elland Road 12 months ago as former head coach Thomas Christiansen sought to improve his goalkeeping ranks, with Wiedwald trusted as the club’s number one at the start of last season.
He started their opening 11 games of the Championship campaign to suggest that he was beginning to nail down the starting spot, only for Andy Lonergan to come in in October and keep the German out of the side until the end of November.
Ultimately, neither Lonergan nor Wiedwald convinced of their capabilities between the sticks, and although the arrival of Paul Heckingbottom saw the latter given another chance to prove his worth, he wasn’t able to deliver, thus allowing Bailey Peacock-Farrell to deputise in the final 11 games of the season.
Thus, it was evident that Wiedwald simply wasn’t up to the job of keeping for the Whites in the second tier last season, ending the campaign with 30 starts to his name in all competitions, in which time he kept 12 clean sheets and shipped 37 goals.
Those numbers aren’t at all bad but say more about the defence in front of him than the goalkeeper himself, hence young shot-stopper Peacock-Farrell was trusted between the sticks as the season drew to a close.
Yes, letting him go on a free transfer to Eintracht Frankfurt (as per Transfermarkt) is likely to frustrate Leeds fans, having signed him for £450,000 in 2017, but by getting rid of Wiedwald the Whites have clearly benefited, as he simply wasn’t good enough to be the man between the sticks at Elland Road – it has also allowed Peacock-Farrell the chance to improve and indeed shine for the club.
As such, Leeds may well have made a loss on the 28-year-old, not just financially but also in terms of points last season, but in the long-term they will profit from sanctioning his departure this summer, as he didn’t prove that he had the capabilities to be relied upon between the sticks for the Yorkshire heavyweights.
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