Leeds United supporters have been calling for the acquisition of a new goalkeeper in recent weeks following a handful of unconvincing performances by Bailey Peacock-Farrell, and murmurs beginning to emerge from Elland Road hint that a potential transfer coup is in the offing.
Indeed, according to a recent report from the Yorkshire Evening Post, Real Madrid’s Kiko Casilla will fly to England this week to finalise a permanent switch to Leeds after Marcelo Bielsa gave the nod to complete a deal.
The stopper is relatively unknown given his standing at Real Madrid, but there is reason to suggest he could be a cunning acquisition for Leeds in their bid for promotion.
The 6’3″ Spaniard has made 140 La Liga appearances during his time at both Madrid and Espanyol, keeping a total of 47 clean sheets in the process.
A move to the Championship represents an entirely new challenge for Casilla but his experience with Los Blancos has provided him with the mentality to deal with his new environment.
Playing for a club of Madrid’s prestige naturally puts players under immense pressure to perform to impeccable standards from both the club’s hierarchy and the ultra demanding supporters, and his experience in dealing with the mental pressures those expectations bring will hold him in good stead to thrive during Leeds’ bid to clinch automatic promotion.
Relatively speaking, the pressure from Leeds supporters is of a comparable intensity to that which Real Madrid supporters heap on their players, and with promotion in sight there is no question Casilla will be under pressure to deliver following his imminent arrival.
Time will tell whether Casilla is a wise option but his wealth of experience at the top level of Spanish football suggests he’s donning exactly the type of profile Bielsa needs to ensure his side realise the promotion dream they’ve carved out for themselves.
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