The January transfer window closed just over a week ago, but summer rumours are already doing the rounds.
Of course, Leeds United are once again in the headlines, and they’ve been linked with another Champions League-winning goalkeeper.
Indeed, reports in Chile indicate that Marcelo Bielsa wants to reunite with the former Barcelona number one Claudio Bravo when his Manchester City contract is up in the summer.
But would this be a good signing?
The 121-cap international would be a free transfer, so it wouldn’t represent a huge financial outlay for the Whites, but Bravo has been dodgy ever since arriving in England, dropping a number of clangers for Man City, most recently getting sent off against Atalanta in the Champions League.
United already have a goalkeeper who has competed at the highest level in the shape of three-time Champions League winner Kiko Casilla, so do they really need Bravo? We asked our team of writers.
“This has all the hallmarks of being Casilla 2.0. An experienced keeper who once played at the top of the Spanish game, only to come to England and falter.
“Claudio Bravo may be an attractive signing at first glance but Leeds will need a far safer pair of hands if they get promoted to the Premier League. Casilla has been error-stricken, namely in the playoffs last season, and Bravo has proven that he simply isn’t up to the task in England’s top-flight.
“Numerous teams have taken advantage of his small stature – he is just 6 foot – which has seen the Chilean catch the ball just nine times in 29 outings. On top of that, he has made one individual error leading to a goal since coming to England. However, that doesn’t tell the full story of a ‘keeper who also got sent off for a reckless and ill-judged challenge in the Champions League this season.
“Bravo is a well-seasoned veteran but his best days are behind him. Leeds are better off looking closer to home and bringing through the talented Illan Meslier. After all, his distribution against Premier League Arsenal was first class in the FA Cup last month. In that tie, he also produced four saves during an influential display between the sticks.”
“Whilst Claudio Bravo may be good with the ball at his feet – he has a pass accuracy of 92.9% in the Champions League this season – he hasn’t totally convinced with some of the basics of goalkeeping in his time in England.
“Think back to his truly horrendous debut in the Manchester derby, when he rashly came out for a long free-kick, and saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave him red-faced by firing in a volley.
“Having seen Kiko Casilla drop a few clangers in his time at Elland Road – his one against Derby in the playoffs last season particularly awful – Marcelo Bielsa’s side could do with someone far more reliable in between the sticks.
“Bravo has proven himself to be just as error-prone as Casilla, and would be another nightmare for Bielsa.”
“This would be an utterly pointless move. Leeds’ problems do not really lie at the feet of their man in between the sticks, but rather their inability to kill games off – this shouldn’t be where Bielsa’s focus is at. Instead, they’ll need to find more forwards next season unless Jean-Kevin Augustin hits the ground running.
“In terms of Bravo himself, I have rarely seen such a calamitous gloveman who never really seems to come up trumps for his club and his teammates. He becomes embroiled in the chaos around him to the point where he quite often ends up doing something crazy – the Champions League tie against Atalanta, in which he got himself sent off having already replaced Ederson as a sub before Kyle Walker had to go in goal, being a fine example.
“Even if it does end up being a free transfer in the summer, Bravo isn’t worth having at Elland Road and Bielsa should steer clear of this one for the aforementioned reasons.”
“I think that this would be a half-decent signing for Leeds, but only if they shift Kiko Casilla first.
“There’s no point having two goalkeepers on big wages at the club, but while Casilla and Bravo have both won silverware in Spain, they played distinctly different roles on their way to silverware.
“This could be a good signing, but Leeds do need to play their cards right if they are to bring him in.”
In other news, One key thing needs to improve for this 29 y/o at Leeds.