Athletic journalist Phil Hay has said that there is “no way back” for Kiko Casilla at Leeds United, just a “very slow end” to his career at Elland Road.
Casilla got a rare start in the Premier League on Saturday against Brighton, much to the concern of the overwhelming majority of Leeds fans.
He came in with Illan Meslier thought to be out because of COVID-19 and put in a more-than-decent display.
He couldn’t have done anything about the Brighton goal, a great team effort that left Casilla stranded and Neal Maupay with a tap-in.
However, Hay claims that the Casilla situation has gone beyond individual performances now.
Writing in The Athletic, Hay said, “Casilla is an itch Leeds cannot scratch; diametrically opposed viewpoints clashing over a keeper who, deservedly or not, is beyond redemption at Elland Road.”
And despite consternation over his ban for racist abuse last season, Hay claims it’s his performances that are ultimately letting him down.
“If Casilla was the Premier League’s best keeper, more people would be tempted to tolerate the findings against him last season.
“It is also true that an offence like Casilla’s tends to intensify the condemnation of any poor form. But therein lies the bottom line: however deep the moral objection to Casilla, the quality of his goalkeeping has done little to protect him.
“The errors from him at Crawley last weekend were like recurring blemishes, like several Leeds have seen before, and they encourage the view that as back-up to Meslier, Bielsa needs better.
“In this saga there are no winners. All that exists is a keeper with no way back and a very slow end.”
Hay makes a really good point here.
Casilla isn’t going to get enough starts to win Leeds fans around with his performances.
And, if he did, he’s done nothing through his career at Leeds to suggest that he could put in a strong of consistent performances.
It must be tough for Casilla, who will be aware of the fans’ feelings about him.
He must be one of the few players who were glad there were no fans at Elland Road on Saturday.
But the anti-Casilla sentiment goes back a long way, to before his ban for racist abuse.
His mistake let Derby back into the game in the play-off semi-final in the 18/19 season.
However, with no other senior back-up, Casilla is all Leeds have when something happens to Meslier.
And, with Casilla on a reported £32k-a-week at Leeds, it would be very hard for someone to come in with a matching offer to enable us to move on and find someone else.
There’s over a week before Leeds are back in action but there’s a chance that he plays against Newcastle as well if Meslier isn’t 100% fit.
That will see Bielsa talking about him before the game and fans fearing the worst on kick-off.
It’s not a healthy cycle for Leeds to be on.
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