Bailey Peacock-Farrell is reportedly out of contract at Leeds United at the end of next season.
Leeds appeared to have produced a masterstroke during the January transfer window when it was announced that they had signed Kiko Casilla from Real Madrid as Marcelo Bielsa looked for the pieces of the jigsaw that would take the Whites over the line in the promotion race.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell had started the season as the Whites’ number one goalkeeper, and initially kept his place as his form dipped with summer signing Jamal Blackman breaking his leg just as a change looked imminent.
Casilla was seen as a real upgrade on the Northern Ireland international, and was perhaps signed at the perfect age. He could potentially enjoy some of his best years at Elland Road, before permanently handing the gloves over to Peacock-Farrell, whose own game would likely benefit from having the Spaniard alongside him.
But following Leeds’ play-off defeat, Bielsa arguably needs to consider overseeing that transition a lot sooner than he would have wanted to. If no new goalkeepers are signed this summer, Peacock-Farrell surely has every right to ask for the number one jersey back.
Casilla’s somewhat erratic behaviour suggested that he had every chance to become a Leeds cult-hero. And his cause was helped by a magnificent save on his debut against Rotherham that proved to be a pivotal moment as the Whites came from behind to win.
But his bizarre performance in the second-leg of the play-off semi-final was one of the reasons why Leeds snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and missed out on booking their ticket to Wembley.
Casilla has the quality to prove his doubters wrong if Bielsa keeps faith with him. But giving Peacock-Farrell another chance could prove more beneficial both in the short and long-term, especially now that he has just experienced his first lengthy spell out of the team since getting a prolonged run as first-choice.
Casilla’s struggles also emphasise how important it is that Leeds extend Peacock-Farrell’s contract, with the Yorkshire Evening Post reporting that his deal expires in 2020.
Leeds are taking a risk not getting the academy graduate tied down for longer. There will surely be some tempting offers on the table if he remains Casilla’s backup and decides that he needs to leave.
He may not be the finished article at this stage of his career. But Peacock-Farrell still has serious potential. And given that Casilla’s arrival ultimately did little to improve Leeds’ fortunes between the sticks, it seems that Bielsa needs to seriously consider a swap from next season.
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