Championship

The door is very much open for Marcelo Bielsa to lure Fraser Forster to Leeds United

The door is very much open for Marcelo Bielsa to lure Fraser Forster to Leeds United

According to a recent report The Daily Echo, Fraser Forster could be set for a move away in this month’s transfer window. The England international currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Southampton and has done so since leaving Celtic back in 2014, although a lack of regular game time in the last 12 months has plunged his future at St Mary’s into doubt.

And reports suggest that new Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl does not see the 30-year-old as part of his plans going forward at the South Coast outfit, which should be of interest to Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa, with his side clearly in need of a goalkeeper to aid their quest for a return to the Premier League this season.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, the Yorkshire giants have given themselves an excellent chance of sealing promotion back to the top-flight for the first time since 2004, what with the Whites sat top of the Championship table after 26 games of the campaign.

However, there are some concerns among supporters regarding the goalkeeping ranks at Elland Road, as Jamal Blackman’s injury back in November, and subsequent return to parent club Chelsea, has left Bailey Peacock-Farrell as the only senior shot-stopper in Bielsa’s ranks.

And while the youngster has on the whole performed solidly for the Championship table-toppers, there have been some unconvincing moments in recent times to suggest that a more senior and experienced goalkeeper could be needed in the second half of the campaign if Leeds are to indeed win promotion.

And Southampton’s Forster would represent the perfect addition in this month’s transfer window – a signing that could pave the way for Leeds’ return to the Premier League.

The 30-year-old may not have featured in the top-flight for Southampton since December 2017, but one mustn’t forget the excellent displays he produced for the Saints in his first few years at St Mary’s – there’s a reason he has appeared six times for England over the years.

And that’s because Forster became a solid and dependable shot-stopper for the South Coast outfit in his first couple of seasons at St Mary’s, keeping 14 clean sheets in just 30 appearances in the 2014/15 campaign under Ronald Koeman, before shipping only 17 goals in 18 league games the season after in their run to sixth place under the Dutchman.

And with appearances in all 38 of their Premier League matches the campaign after under Claude Puel, in which time the 30-year-old kept 14 clean sheets and conceded only 48 goals, Forster has more than proven his worth as a top-flight goalkeeper down the years – as such, he’d be ideal for Leeds in their promotion quest this season.

Be it great command of his penalty area as well as being an excellent shot-stopper, the Englishman has it all to succeed in the Championship – add in a vast amount of experience accumulated at Southampton and indeed Celtic, and he’d also be a great mentor for young Peacock-Farrell.

Ultimately, it appears that Leeds’ possible Achilles heel in the second half of the campaign could be their lack of depth in various areas of the squad, with that perhaps most pertinent in the goalkeeping department.

And with Peacock-Farrell not totally convincing over the course of the season, Bielsa would be wise to make a move for the reportedly available Forster this month – doing so would seal him the signing that could take Leeds back to the Premier League.

Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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