Leeds United could be one step closer to sorting out their goalkeeping hierarchy.
During a Leeds XI’s 5-1 victory over Tadcaster Albion last night, there was one name on the teamsheet that stood out, that was A Trialist. The Yorkshire Post later confirmed that the man was actually Michael ‘Max’ Johnstone, having been released by Sunderland this summer. Whilst it is only a trial, no formal contract has been agreed yet, I think this would be a very shrewd move by Leeds.
Just as an aside, they really need to get rid of this trialist thing, it just seems a tad pointless if people can then identify who the player is. Plus it means we don’t get into the ridiculous situation like Bury did over the weekend where they announced a whole team of them, but I digress.
Football Insider revealed last week that Leeds were looking to offload Kiko Casilla, who became very error-prone towards the end of last season, including a very high profile one in the play-off semi-final defeat to Derby County.
I’ve spoken before about how the goalkeeper position needs to be a bit more streamlined at Elland Road, and getting rid of Kiko Casilla and replacing him with Max Johnstone is the right way to go about it. Having not made a first-team appearance, he won’t be clamouring for a go in the first team like someone who has already been given a taste of it.
Therefore, if you apply my logic from previously, he can be the young up and coming goalkeeper to sit behind Peacock-Farrell and then be given the occasional cup game. That just means you need an older goalkeeper to sit back and be his mentor while he develops, I suggested Michel Vorm or Anders Lindegaard, but you can make your own mind up on who it should be.
Sorting out your hierarchy for any position is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Signing an established Championship goalkeeper like Karl Darlow who is still in his prime at 28 is the wrong way to go, but bringing in and comer like Johnstone who knows his role will allow Peacock-Farrell to carry on his work without having to constantly look over his shoulder to see if his place is under threat.