Graham Smyth has delivered his verdict on the potential return of Kiko Casilla at Leeds United, with the Yorkshire Evening Post’s lead man admitting he finds it hard to see Marcelo Bielsa recalling the Spaniard to his side.
Leeds can welcome Casilla back into the mix this Thursday when they take on Barnsley at Elland Road, with the goalkeeper’s eight-match suspension wrapped up.
There’s politics behind Casilla’s return, though, with racism charges against the Spaniard proven and a significant mark against his name despite his suspension coming to an end.
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Illan Meslier has stepped up in the last eight fixtures, keeping five clean sheets and conceding only four goals, which begs the question why Bielsa would even consider a change at this point.
And, ahead of Casilla’s return, Smyth has taken to Twitter to deliver his verdict on the goalkeeper’s potential return:
People asking about Kiko Casilla – is that out of curiosity or concern? It would be very weird to see Illan Meslier dropped at this stage, particularly on the back of today's performance. Marcelo Bielsa has been determined to avoid distractions. I just can't see it.
— Graham Smyth (@GrahamSmyth) July 12, 2020
Casilla had featured in the 35 fixtures in the build-up to his suspension, with the 33-year-old helping the Whites into a commanding position in the Championship promotion race.
However, Meslier has done well since his introduction against Hull City back in February and, most recently, helped Leeds to a 1-0 win over Swansea City.
It’s hard to see Casilla coming back into the fold at Leeds for a number of reasons.
Meslier is doing a fine job in goal at the moment and, as Smyth says, it is hard to see Bielsa disturbing things too much at this stage.
Additionally, Leeds won’t want to thrust Casilla under a bus here by recalling him at a time when the eyes of the world are on the club.
The summer transfer window will be hugely significant for Casilla and you have to feel that there’s a chance we might have seen the last of him in a Leeds shirt.
Thoughts? Let us know!