Kiko Casilla has produced a number of indifferent performances since Leeds United secured his services from Real Madrid in January.
When Kiko Casilla first walked through the doors of Leeds United in January, he joined a team that was hoping to end a near 15-year absence from England’s top-flight.
The 32-year-old had just arrived from Real Madrid [Sky Sports], and despite playing on one of the biggest stages of them all, he seemingly wasn’t prepared for what was about to face him at Elland Road.
During the early stages, Casilla showcased his worth, but there were other times when he would unnerve the crowd with his poor decision-making and his habit of wanting to come off his line at the wrong time.
That was displayed in front of a packed Elland Road crowd during Leeds United’s play-off semi-final defeat to Derby in May, where Casilla produced a number of horror moments and his side’s hopes of earning promotion were well and truly over.
But over the summer, Leeds, along with Casilla, have regrouped and after seven games, they top the Championship table – their most recent outing was their 2-0 win over Barnsley, where Casilla was outstanding.
It was no doubt the Spainaird’s best performance in a Leeds shirt as he stopped a vibrant Daniel Stendel’s side from finding the back of the net.
Casilla saved six shots during the match, including stopping an eager Malik Wilks from finding the back of the net, with [WhoScored] providing the Leeds man with a rating of 8.33, his best of the season so far – he has played 27 games overall for the club, thus far [transfermarkt].
Leeds left it late to secure all three points, and in truth, they should have put the ball in the back of the net a lot earlier, with Jack Harrison hitting the post from close range following a corner.
But there were times when Barnsley would either win possession in Leeds’ defensive third, or they would simply drive forward, but whatever they threw at Casilla, he was there to stop their Yorkshire rivals from scoring.
Casilla’s best save arguably came when he saved a header on the goal line following a corner, with Leeds going on to score not long after when Eddie Nketiah headed home and then won a penalty which was converted.
Overall, it was a positive display from Casilla, who has had a number of indifferent moments during his time in Yorkshire.
But if he can replicate his current form then it’ll bode well for his own confidence, and most importantly, Leeds’ chancing of ending that long drought of making a return to the promised land.