Chelsea’s on loan goalkeeper Jamal Blackman is not having the greatest time at Leeds so far this season.
Many thought that the former England under-19 international would battle it out with Northern Ireland international Bailey Peacock-Farrell for the number one shirt, but it appears he is well and truly losing that battle.
The 24-year-old has not featured yet in the league, and has only played in the League Cup, where The Whites crashed out in the second round.
However, Blackman is three years older than his competitor, meaning it is unlikely that he will ever be able to usurp the 21-year-old Peacock-Farrell this season. Of the two, the incumbent is more likely to improve, as he is still at a formative age in football.
With that in mind, questions will be asked about Blackman’s future, particularly at Chelsea. He is no longer deemed a young player, and if he cannot prove himself in the Championship, it seems impossible to think that he will be able to in the Premier League.
Many keepers have been much younger that Blackman and been global superstars. To think that Thibaut Courtois is only two years older than Blackman and has been a huge star, both for Chelsea and Belgium, for a number of years now.
It seems very unlikely that the player will work his way into Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds team this year, particularly after how well the team are doing in the Championship, and his career seems directionless.
The very fact that Chelsea’s number one now is Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is the exact same age as Blackman and is already a Spain international, makes it very hard to think that Blackman will return and be able to take his place. The question is whether Blackman would be happy being Chelsea’s number two, seeing as the club’s current reserve keepers are Rob Green, 38, and Willy Caballero, 37.
However, very few would argue that Blackman would be able to get into Maurizio Sarri’s starting XI if he can’t make a Championship squad. If he wants playing time, he will have to look elsewhere, not only from Chelsea, but Leeds as well.