MOT View: Proven PL ace more than good enough to replace Leeds player with future on the line
Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been linked with a move to Elland Road ahead of next season if Leeds United win promotion to the Premier League.
Although Bournemouth have struggled for most of the season and currently occupy 18th place in the Premier League table, 21-year-old Ramsdale has been one of their star performers in his 28 league appearances.
Ramsdale has kept four clean sheets – two of them being against Manchester United and Chelsea – in that time and stats by the Premier League show that he’s only made one error that’s led to a goal. In comparison, Hugo Lloris, Bernd Leno, David De Gea and Ederson have all made more.
Ramsdale is a great young goalkeeper and that is why it is no surprise to see him being linked with Leeds.
The Express [via Press Reader] reported earlier this week that with doubts surrounding the future of Kiko Casilla, the England Under-21 international has emerged on the Yorkshire club’s radar.
Casilla is currently banned for racially abusing Jonathan Leko back in September and with the Spaniard’s contract expiring next year, there’s a possibility he could be moved on by the Whites. Even The Athletic’s Phil Hay has suggested Casilla might have played his final game for the club.
For now, 20-year-old Illan Meslier has been filling in for Casilla but his loan spell expires in the summer and there’s a chance he could return to parent club Lorient.
Either way, Leeds are likely to be in major need of a new goalkeeper – and Ramdale fits the bill perfectly.
Leeds United could replace Bournemouth in the Premier League based on the form and the respective positions of the two clubs so there’s a chance that pushing forward with the deal will be easier for the Whites.
Ramsdale is also a proven performer in the Premier League.
Stats by WyScout show that the 21-year-old has an xCG (expected conceded goals) of 1.5 per game.
While Casilla’s xCG is a lot lower at 0.82, Ramsdale faces, on average, 4.93 shots per game to Casilla’s 2.91. In other words, Leeds’ defence is more effective than Bournemouth’s, which is no great surprise.
Ramsdale, therefore, averages 3.48 saves per game, with 53.3 per cent of them being reflex saves. Casilla, on the other hand, averages 2.11 saves per game with only 38.1 per cent of them being reflex saves.
And remember the errors-leading-goal stat mentioned earlier? Ramsdale has one in 28 Premier League outings. Leeds fans need no reminding about how many Casilla’s made.
Ramsdale has to make more saves from chances of higher quality but what about his passing stats? That is something that Marcelo Bielsa wants from his man in between the sticks.
The Cherries shot-stopper has completed 95 per cent of his short pass and 56 per cent of his long passes this season.
Casilla has completed 96.7 per cent of the short passes he’s attempted and 61.7 per cent of his long-range passes.
It is clearly an area where Casilla slightly edges Ramsdale but, again, it is worth noting that Casilla has been playing for a team at the top of the league for most of the season whereas Ramsdale’s been at a struggling Premier League team.
Ramsdale is also 12 years younger than Casilla and therefore has a lot less experience to his name.
If there’s a manager who can get the best out of the England Under-21 international then it’s Bielsa and the Cherries shot-stopper is certainly someone who Leeds United should attempt to sign if they go up and decide to get rid of the disgraced Spaniard.
In other Leeds United news, Jeff Stelling believes a points-per-game model is an ideal solution to the season.