Nigel Martyn has told LeedsUnited.News that Kiko Casilla’s omission from the Leeds United squad on Monday night during the 2-0 defeat to West Ham United could be a sign that his time is up at Elland Road – and reckons the Spain international’s big wages might be a main cause for concern when it comes to discussing the ex-Real Madrid star’s future at Elland Road.
Casilla, 34, was left out of the Premier League squad for the fourth time this season. The other three games came at the beginning of the campaign, in which Casilla was nursing an ankle problem. On Monday, it was a different story, with Marcelo Bielsa stating after the match that he simply preferred to take Italian youngster Elia Caprile to East London – instead of Casilla.
The general consensus among supporters is that Casilla has no future at the club but his current contract – which sees him earn £32,000 a week (Spotrac) – tells a different story. He is contracted to Leeds until the summer of 2023, when he will be 35. But if a club comes calling in the next window, the chances are that he could be packing his bags.
That is, according to Leeds icon and former Whites goalkeeper Martyn. He believes that Casilla could be sold by the Whites given his enormous contract at Leeds, which is up there with the likes of Patrick Bamford, Helder Costa, Rodrigo, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente. Martyn believes that by offloading Casilla, Bielsa might have more room to bring someone in.
“It could be,” Martyn told LeedsUnited.News, when asked if his absence against West Ham might be a sign that his time at Leeds is up. “The only thing that would make me think that it he is probably one of the higher wage earners, given his age and experience. Part of what the manager will have seen this season, is that he needs to buy quality players – to maintain and improve.
“This is not a starting player that is in his starting eleven, but is in his starting eleven wage earners. Bielsa might think that he will need to make a saving in order to purchase someone else, who will be playing regularly,” Martyn continued to say on Casilla, who has only managed to play three times in all competitions this season – conceding five goals, including three against Crawley Town.
Since being left out of the side for Caprile, Casilla has posted a cryptic message on Instagram in which he discusses leaving – though his agent has issued a response in an interview with LUFC Fan Zone, saying that the Spain international is happy at Leeds and that his post might not have anything to do with the newly-promoted Premier League club.
Leeds are next in action on Saturday evening as they host in-form rivals Chelsea at Elland Road. While the players on the pitch will be looking to exact revenge on Thomas Tuchel’s side and inflict the German’s first defeat since taking over at West London, there will be some attention on the Leeds bench – and as to whether Casilla, or Caprile, will be on it.