Signing Leicester's Eldin Jakupovic would cure Leeds' goalkeeping headache

Marcelo Bielsa, manager of Leeds United arrives prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers at Elland Road on November 02, 2019 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United might need a new goalkeeper in January if Kiko Casilla is banned - and Marcelo Bielsa's Championship favourites should go for the Foxes outcast.

Eldin Jakupovic of leicester looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Luton Town and Leicester City at Kenilworth Road on July 26, 2017 in Luton, England.

Even the most committed Leicester City fan would be forgiven for staring blankly into space for a second or two if you mentioned the name Eldin Jakupovic.

After all, it’s been a long time since the 35-year-old goalkeeper appeared for The Foxes. And his most recent outing in Leicester colours, coming all the way back in May 2018, was hardly one to remember – at least, not for a positive reason.

Jakupovic conceded five times in a dramatic defeat to Tottenham Hotspur 18 months ago. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, and with both Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward ahead of him in the pecking order, it seems unlikely that the £2.25 million shot-stopper will ever feature for the one-time Premier League champions again.

 

The Mercury reports that the former Hull City stopper is all but guaranteed to leave the King Power Stadium in 2020.

But just because Jakupovic’s Leicester career is over, that doesn’t mean he cannot still be a very useful addition for a club in need of some added depth between the sticks. Someone like Leeds United.

Casilla's replacement?

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have the best defensive record in the entire Football League but there’s an ominous spectre hanging above Elland Road. As reported by the Sun, Spanish shot-stopper Kiko Casilla is facing a 12-match ban for alleged racial abuse of Charlton forward Jonathan Leko.

Kiko Casilla of Leeds United

His apparent replacement, Illan Meslier, is just 19 and has never played a senior game in English football.

And if reports are to be believed, Leeds are eyeing an experienced alternative. Boyhood Whites fanatic and Birmingham City outcast David Stockdale has been lined up for a dream move to Elland Road, according to The Mirror (17 November, page 50), but surely Jakupovic has to come into consideration too.

With just six months left on his contract, the former Switzerland international can be snapped up for a minor fee in January. He’s not just an excellent shot stopper with plenty of experience under his belt, but also an excellent passer of the ball who would fit in perfectly to Bielsa’s possession-based approach.

One to consider at least as Leeds look to avoid a repeat of the collapse which turned their Premier League dream into a nightmare.

Eldin Jakupovic of Hull City celebrates after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on February 1, 2017 in Manchester, England.

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