Leeds United supporters have been urging the club to sign a new goalkeeper since Jamal Blackman prematurely returned to Chelsea, and it seems that wish is set to come true this week in the shape of Kiko Casilla.
Indeed, according to a recent report from the Yorkshire Evening Post, the 32-year-old stopper is due to arrive in Leeds imminently to complete a medical ahead of a permanent deal.
The Real Madrid backup keeper has seldom started for Los Blancos during his time at the club, with Keylor Navas occupying the proverbial and physical number one shirt, and his lack of game time has added an air of mystery to the proposed deal.
However, a recent report from Goal has sought to answer some questions regarding the true extent of his ability, and it was revealed that Zinedine Zidane’s influence at the Bernabeu has inadvertently prepared Casilla for the demands of Marcelo Bielsa’s philosophy.
‘The influence of Madrid great Zinedine Zidane, moreover, has helped improve Casilla’s ability on the ball, making him an adept distributor and thus a perfect fit for quick-passing, high-pressing Leeds.’
If you’d told a Leeds fan this time last year that they would be mentioning their own club, Zinedine Zidane and Marcelo Bielsa in the same sentence by January 2019 they would have laughed off such absurd suggestions, yet here we are staring that reality in the face.
That Bielsa is set to welcome a talent who has played in the Champions League and La Liga for Real Madrid and trained under a manager of Zidane’s standing is a true indicator of how far the Whites have come this season.
The need for goalkeepers to be rapid and effective distributors, particularly under a manager of Bielsa’s mindset, has never been more pressing, and the fact Zidane has already ingrained some of those principles into Casilla suggests he will have no problem establishing himself as Leeds’ number one above Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
And providing Casilla’s performances mirror the huge expectation for his arrival, Leeds could be set to take another huge step towards the top-flight by welcoming the Spaniard to Elland Road.
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