Leeds United could well be in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer.
Aside from the fact that they are expected to make a permanent move for loanee Illan Meslier, it is also understood that Kiko Casilla is thinking about quitting the club after a year-and-a-half at Elland Road, as per Football Insider.
And that has led to some supposition from local outlet Leeds Live as to who Marcelo Bielsa could look to draft in as a potential replacement.
One name that crops up in their article is that of Manchester City stopper Claudio Bravo.
The 36-year-old is out of contract at the Etihad this summer, and could be available on a free transfer.
The Chilean is described as a “wildcard” by the local outlet, but is also touted as a stopper who would fit into Marcelo Bielsa’s passing style of play.
It isn’t the first time he has been linked either, with South American publication En Cancha filing a report on a potential back in February.
But we’re not too sure that bringing him in is a smart move.
Admittedly, it is true that Bravo has fantastic passing stats.
So far this season he has averaged a pass completion rate of 98.1% – even higher than Casilla’s 97.6% – and very rarely falls below that incredibly high level, as the Wyscout graph below illustrates.
But goalkeeping is about so much more than short, sharp passing, and Bravo’s shot-stopping prowess has left a lot to be desired during his time in England.
Over the course of his four Premier League outings this season, the veteran has conceded seven goals in a very strong Manchester City side.
Perhaps more telling, however, is the fact that his xG is just 1.28, but his actual goals conceded stands at 1.68, meaning that he is conceding 0.4 goals per game more than he is expected to.
As a point of reference, Casilla – even after a very shaky run of form earlier in 2020 – has conceded 0.8 goals per game from an xG of 0.82.
Moreover, Bravo has faced an average of 3.83 shots per game in the Premier League this term, meaning that he has conceded over 43% of the shots he has faced this term.
Again, as a point of comparison, Casilla has faced 2.84 shots per game this term, meaning that he has conceded just 28.17% of the shots he has had to deal with.
The gulf is obvious, and it’s blatantly evident that Bravo is not somebody we should be trusting with our first Premier League campaign in over a decade and a half.
This “wildcard” would be too much of a gamble.
In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Manager who Phil Hay claims Leeds ‘took a shine to’ could be ideal Bielsa successor.