Aston Villa

TT Battle: Kiko Casilla vs Lovre Kalinic

Despite both clubs having the same aim of achieving promotion to the Premier League, things have been rather contrasting for Leeds United and Aston Villa this season.

The Whites currently sit top of the Championship table whilst The Villans have floundered a little and sit 13th.

Both sides have looked to use the January transfer window to bolster their squads ahead of the second half of the campaign, with an experienced goalkeeper having been added to each side.

Marcelo Bielsa added Kiko Casilla whilst Dean Smith added Lovre Kalinic to his ranks, however, who got the better shot-stopper?

Kiko Casilla

Casilla arrived at Leeds on 17 January 2019 on a free transfer from Real Madrid and comes with bags of experience and talent.

The 32-year-old has been involved in a number of the Spanish sides greatest achievements, although admittedly he has not been involved on the pitch.

With Bailey Peacock-Farrell having come under scrutiny for his performances in recent weeks and months, the addition of the Spaniard will have been welcomed by fans at Elland Road.

With the Northern Ireland international likely the man to hold the position over the long-term future, Casilla could be the man to help Bielsa’s side achieve Premier League football this season whilst helping to improve the youngster’s game as well.

TT Grade: B

Lovre Kalinic

Kalinic arrived at Villa Park for a fee thought to be in the region of £5.4million, per Transfermarkt, as Smith looked to address his own concerns in the goalkeeping department.

The Croatia international was brought in after Orjan Nyland was hit with a season-ending injury, although the Norwegian’s performances did not cover himself in any glory over the first part of the campaign.

The 28-year-old has, however, had a tough start to life in English football with Aston Villa and things do not necessarily look to have improved.

Kalinic has conceded eight goals in his three matches so far, making the shot-stopper look an expensive addition at this early stage.

TT Grade: C

The Verdict:

Both clubs were right to address their need for new goalkeepers in the January transfer window and on paper look to have secured great deals for their sides.

However, three games into life at Aston Villa may have already flagged Kalinic’s ability to perform in the Championship.

Although judgement will need to be reserved on Casilla until he plays a few games for Leeds, Bielsa may have got the upper-hand on Smith should the signing work out as planned.

Leeds and Aston Villa fans – thoughts?

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