Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has suggested that goalkeeper Kiko Casilla is the sort of player the Whites need, amid reports that director of football Victor Orta has been persuading him he still has a role to play at the club.
It was reported earlier this week that Orta had been in constant contact with the Spaniard during the delay to convince him he still has a role to play at the club.
It is thought Casilla is considering a move back to Spain in the upcoming transfer window, following the events of this season.
The 33-year-old is currently serving an eight-match ban after he was found guilty of using racially abusive language, a charge he strongly denied, by the EFL.
The absence of Casilla, whose performances have not been entirely convincing this term, has allowed 20-year-old Illan Meslier to impress in his brief spell in the first team.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan backed Orta’s actions and indicated he shared the belief that the Spanish shot-stopper was a useful player to have at the club even while suspended.
He said: “I think that he seems a very professional player.
“He has been at a big club that demands professionalism.
“That does not surprise me because he seems quite a level headed player when you see him on the field. Very laid back so I do not think it will ruffle him too much.
“Only he will know what happened. The fact that he is letting it go and getting on with things in a professional manner shows that he is a good professional with a strong character. It is the sort of player that we need.”
Casilla was linked with a move back away last summer but remained at Elland Road and has made 37 appearances this term – helping them to climb to the top of the Championship and concede the fewest goals in the division.
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You can see where both Orta and Whelan are coming from here.
Casilla has a huge amount of experience, something that will be really useful given Meslier’s age.
It remains to be seen who will be the Whites’ first-choice shot-stopper once both men are available but the club will want them both fully committed if and when the season returns.