Karl Darlow not promised anything at Leeds United as 'excellent' keeper stuck behind Illan Meslier - Sky Sports pundit
We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United …
Karl Darlow hasn’t been “misled” over his move to Leeds United despite being stuck behind Illan Meslier and yet to make an appearance in the Championship, according to Paul Robinson.
The former Newcastle keeper was signed in the summer at a time when it was expected that the French under-21 international would likely be moving on, but an exit never happened and he has been ever-present in the league XI for Daniel Farke.
However, Sky Sports pundit Robinson has dismissed any dissatisfaction on 33-year-old Darlow’s part as “irrelevant” and doesn’t believe he would have been “promised anything” before signing anyway, so with Meslier in good form there is no issue with the situation.
“No I don’t think he was promised anything. I don’t think he’s been misled,” Robinson exclusively told MOT Leeds News of the back-up keeper.
“You understand as a goalkeeper that nobody’s guaranteed to play. You go in there as a number one or a number two and you know there’s going to be competition for your place.
“There was potential that Illan Meslier could have gone before the start of the season. I think for him personally, for his own development, he’s made the right decision to stay at Leeds. Whether there was an option for him to leave or not, we don’t know that.
“But for him and his own personal development, and where he was in his game, I think a season at Leeds United in the Championship now he’s getting back to where he was.
“I don’t think he’s there yet. The form that we saw in the Premier League from him was at a really, really high level. I still don’t think he’s got back to that yet but I think he’s getting there.
“As far as Karl Darlow goes, he’s an excellent goalkeeper, he’s a proven goalkeeper. He’s got great career stats if you look at him in the Championship, his experience is there.
“Nobody’s guaranteed to play, you’ve got to earn the right to play. Whether he thought he was going to get more minutes or not is irrelevant now.
“If Leeds United are a team that are challenging at the top of the Championship and become a Premier League side there’s a lot of people who want to be a part of that, it’s not a bad bandwagon to be on.”
Darlow doesn’t appear to be making an issues about the fact that he has only seen action in a pair of EFL Cup games for Leeds United, but it is an unexpected turn of events for him to be such an afterthought given the boost his signing brought.
It is difficult to argue with Meslier’s place as the number one when the Whites are thriving under Farke this term, but his presence was anything but a given throughout a summer of uncertainty.
As long as the team is winning and has a real opportunity to make it back to the Premier League there perhaps won’t be any issue for this season, but it seems probable that questions over one or the other’s departure will again be on the agenda next summer, and at 33 Darlow may well be in search of more regular football by then.
In other Leeds United news, a player who has made the Whites look “foolish” has been tipped to be at Elland Road next season.