MOT View: Leeds must swoop to land PL talent to replace Elland Road ace with uncertain future
Leeds United have been linked with a speculative swoop for Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero this summer, and they could certainly do a whole lot worse.
According to Argentine outlet TyC Sports, the Whites are keen on making a move for the 96-cap international, with Kiko Casilla’s future still up in the air following his recent ban for racially abusing Charlton Athletic forward Jonathan Leko.
But, from a purely footballing point of view, which player would be the better option for Marcelo Bielsa?
On the face of it, the numbers would suggest Romero.
According to Wyscout, the Man United stopper has conceded just 0.27 goals per game this season compared to Casilla’s tally of 0.88.
Likewise, the difference between Romero’s conceded goals per game rate and his xCG is 0.04 in his favour, while Casilla’s 0.03 against him.
Moreover, Romero has made 13.5% more saves with reflexes this season.
Granted, his pass completion rate is 1.4% lower than Casilla’s, but that’s a fine margin, and his total still sits at 96%.
Above is a shot map from Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against Wolves back in January.
In that game, Romero only had to make three saves, but two were with reflexes, and he faced an overall xCG of 0.52.
In particular, however, one save caught the eye.
At the point of the ball being played over, you can see that Romero has assumed a fairly central position on his goal-line, and has taken up a solid enough position.
To be honest, at this stage, it’s nothing overly spectacular.
A Wolves man then wins the first header, and this is when Romero springs into life.
Already, he is travelling across his line at pace to narrow the angle and to give the striker the smallest possible target to aim for when it comes to hitting the back of the net.
What we then see is a sweetly struck volley from point blank range.
Ordinarily, you would argue that a keeper should not be beaten from that angle, but this is so close to the goal, and hit with such venom that Romero just does well to get anything on it at all.
But not only does he get a glove to it, he also shows fantastic agility, fearlessness, and strength to fling himself at the shot, and to divert it round the post.
This is a world class save from a keeper who is still top, top quality, even at the age of 33.
If the option is there to sign him, we say get it done.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites have made an offer for this defender.