Almost there folks, just a couple more hours and Leeds’ League Cup campaign will be up and running.
Earlier today, told you how I thought it was time for Eddie Nketiah should get a runout tonight.
Now, I’m going to put the case forward for someone else to make his debut tonight, and that’s Frenchman Illan Meslier. The League Cup is seen as an opportunity to rest players and make some changes, and Marcelo Bielsa hinted yesterday that there were going to be some changes to the side, with the new signings likely to be involved. Hopefully, that means Meslier will be too.
Now, whilst I have been wrong in the past about the goalkeeper situation at Leeds, I’m a resilient chap and I won’t I stop until I get something right, so you may have to put up with me for a little while longer.
The main reason I think he needs to play tonight, is because of his deal. He only signed for the club on loan, and with that comes a very limited window for us to see him in action. If this was a permanent deal, I’d still be arguing that he should get some minutes under his belt anyway, but the loan deal adds a bit of urgency to the situation.
Much like Nketiah, we’ve only got him for a limited amount of time, so we need to see him utilised as much as we can for as long as we can. Whilst he’s unlikely to dislodge current number one Kiko Casilla in the league games any time soon, matches like tonight are the perfect opportunity for him to stake a place for the future.
Whilst a goalkeeper fitting into ‘a system’ may not be as important as outfield players, you don’t have to worry about his stamina, pace or marking, it is still imperative that you give him the opportunity to prove himself with the rest of the team.
This is particularly true with foreign goalkeepers, we’ve seen the likes of Heurelho Gomes and David De Gea struggle when they came over to England. So much like I said about Nketiah, the quicker we see him in action, the sooner we’ll be able to work out if he’s any good or not.
Then we’ll be able to work out if he’s a decent challenger for Casilla’s number one spot, or someone who won’t make it past the end of the season at Elland Road.