Leeds could finally offload Kiko Casilla this summer by signing West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
The Spaniard has struggled for game-time this season having lost his starting spot with Marcelo Bielsa’s side to Illan Meslier – he has played just three competitive games for the club in 2020/21.
The Express and Star have claimed that the Whites are believed to be interested in the 1.93m (6 foot 4) Johnstone and that, if a suitable offer did come in for him this summer, West Brom would not stand in the way of him leaving.
Speaking after Leeds’ FA Cup loss to Crawley Town earlier this campaign, journalist Daniel Storey vented: “I think Kiko Casilla was the other game-changer in a negative sense because I don’t think he should be playing for Leeds for non-football reasons, but he probably shouldn’t be playing for Leeds for football reasons after today.
“He just looked so short of confidence that the second goal just completely went through him at his near post. I think it was disappointing that he was picked and I kind of saw it as karma doesn’t really have a sell-by date and two or three years down the line, he’s come undone maybe.”
Leeds TV podcaster Oscar Mari simply dubbed him a “complete liability“.
Whether it’s his on-pitch performances or off-field controversies, Casilla’s stock has fallen through the floor, with Meslier now firmly established as the club’s number one, and he must surely be sold this summer.
By signing Johnstone, Leeds would be getting someone to genuinely compete with the Frenchman for the starting spot, and he has performed impressively for West Brom this season. His former boss Steve Bruce labelled the shot-stopper a “diamond”, and given the kind of shift he has had to put in this season at The Hawthorns, it’s no surprise why he has earned such praise.
No goalkeeper in the Premier League has faced more shots on target (168) than Johnstone, while no goalkeeper has made as many saves as him either (116).
He has been heavily tested in a Baggies side looking to stave off relegation, and while Sam Allardyce’s side may go down, that isn’t down to a lack of effort or quality from the man in between the sticks.
Johnstone’s possible arrival this summer would finally allow Bielsa to wave goodbye to Casilla and reinforce the goalkeeping department at Elland Road.