Leeds United are set to seal the signing of goalkeeper Joel Robles in the coming days.
That’s according to Graham Smyth, with the journalist revealing in a recent article for the Yorkshire Evening Post that, following a number of reports suggesting that Victor Orta was set to make a move for a backup ‘keeper in the coming weeks, the Spaniard is now close to landing the 32-year-old on a free transfer following his release from Real Betis back in June.
Smyth went on to state that the former Spain U23 international is expected to complete his switch to Elland Road within the next week, and will join Jesse Marsch’s squad as the third-choice shot-stopper, behind number one Illan Meslier and number two Kristoffer Klaesson – who picked up a slight ankle injury in a behind-closed-doors friendly last weekend.
With Kiko Casilla finally being moved on by the Whites earlier this summer – agreeing to a mutual termination of his contract 12 months before it was due to expire – it would very much appear as if a move for Robles could well see Orta land something of a perfect heir for the former Real Madrid ‘keeper.
Indeed, in comparison to Casilla, Robles boasts much more Premier League experience, featuring nine times for Wigan Athletic back in 2012/13 – conceding 16 goals and keeping one clean sheet – as well as featuring a total of 42 times for Everton – shipping 48 goals and keeping 17 clean sheets – between the 2013/14 and 2017/18 Premier League campaigns.
Meanwhile, the £630k-rated Spaniard made just three appearances in the top flight during his time at Leeds, having already fallen behind the 22-year-old Meslier in the club’s goalkeeping pecking order by the time of the Whites’ promotion from the Championship two seasons ago.
Furthermore, with the 35-year-old well known to have been something of a “liability” – in the words of Oscar Mario – during his time at Elland Road, making a number of costly mistakes between the sticks, Robles would appear to be a much more reliable option for Jesse Marsch to call upon next season.
Indeed, over 20 appearances in his most recent Premier League jaunt, the £1.35m-rated stopper impressed, keeping 10 clean sheets and conceding an average of just one goal per game, with these metrics seeing the 32-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.94 – a rating which actually betters Meslier’s average of 6.87 last season.
Further still, with Casilla reported to have been earning a whopping £40k-per-week in LS11, should Orta manage to land Robles on a similar £12k-per-week salary the shot-stopper was earning at Betis, it would undoubtedly represent something of a “bargain” – as Simon Harrison dubbed the Spaniard – for the Whites.
As such, when taking all of the above into account, it is clear to see that Robles is indeed the perfect heir to Casilla’s spot in the Whites’ goalkeeper pecking order, with all three of Orta, Marsch and supporters sure to be delighted with the impending arrival of the 32-year-old.