Kiko Casilla has endured a difficult time at Elland Road over the past couple of seasons and Nigel Martyn has told LeedsUnited.News that after his dismal performance on Sunday afternoon in which Leeds fell 3-0 to League Two side Crawley Town, that it could be time to leave Elland Road.
Casilla, 34, joined Leeds from Real Madrid in January 2019 and was billed as a major coup for the Whites. A Champions League winner, a Spain international and a player to have clocked up 43 appearances for the Galacticos. Fast forward two years, and fans are calling for his exit.
Just months after joining, Casilla was entrusted with keeping goal in the play-offs against Derby but was largely to blame for the 4-2 Elland Road defeat that knocked Leeds out at the semi-final stage. The following season, Leeds brought in Illan Meslier on loan but stuck with Casilla as number one – but he was eventually banned for eight games, as per BBC Sport, following a racial incident involving Charlton’s Jonathan Leko.
Among a number of other goalkeeping errors and becoming renowned for a rush of blood, Casilla then made two mistakes in the 3-0 defeat to Crawley and while Leeds did not deserve to win – Casilla was the worst of a bad bunch, in the eyes of many. Leeds icon Martyn thinks it is probably time to leave the Yorkshire club – a move that would suit both player and Leeds.
“He made a really good save just before half-time, but the first goal, I don’t know – he looks like he has dived over it, he didn’t have his hands in the right place,” Martyn exclusively told LeedsUnited.News. “The second goal, he should be saving it.
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“I’m concerned that he thinks he should be saving it with his feet, he should be looking to save it with his hands. The third one – I don’t think it was his fault, a reaction save that has gone into a dangerous area. The other two, I’d like to stick up for him but when it is clear it’s difficult. He also came out of his area, patted one away.
“His confidence is shot. If you have a bad performance in the one chance you get it is not positive. To leave is probably right for player and club I would have thought. I always try and not be the person from the outside to slate someone, but he’s not been great, he’s not in the team, and there have been a few things that have happened. But it is probably better for him to start somewhere afresh.”
Casilla is one of the club’s highest earners on £32,000 a week according to Spotrac, with only the likes of Patrick Bamford, Robin Koch and Rodrigo ahead of him. It is another reason why Leeds might want to get rid of the Spain international, though his contract runs until the summer of 2023 and that may mean it is hard to shift the second-choice stopper.
A return to Spain has been suggested by many outlets in the past and certainly, that is the likeliest destination. But we are a third of the way through the January window and nothing has surfaced in terms of a Casilla departure. Indeed, Leeds may be looking to bring in a replacement for Casilla if they decide to let him go – given the next best option is Italian youngster Elia Caprile.