Elia Caprile left Leeds United permanently in the summer to join Serie B side Bari and is shining in Italy’s second tier during the first half of the 2022-23 season, ‘astonishing everyone’ – and Leeds should be regretting his early exit.

Caprile, 21, joined Leeds from Chievo as a teenager almost three years ago – in January 2020. He played 19 times for the club’s Under-21 side but never made his senior debut, only featuring on the bench a handful of times for Leeds.

In the summer of 2021, he went on loan. Joining Pro Patria for the 21-22 season, he kept 13 clean sheets in 39 games. An excellent season, one which Leeds should have taken notice of. But they did not – selling him to second-tier Bari.

He has made a wonderful start at Bari. Caprile has made himself the no.1, keeping six clean sheets in 19 games and conceding just 18 goals. Bari sit in third place with a real chance of promotion. Caprile could be a Serie A goalkeeper.

Tutto Bari wrote up a column-like report on Bari’s 4-1 win over Modena on Sunday. Another brilliant performance from Caprile and his teammates, who have gone seven games unbeaten. They say he is ‘astonishing everyone’ with his form.

SSC Bari v Brescia - Serie B 2023
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Leeds should be regretting early Caprile exit amid excellent Bari form

Leeds have options between the sticks. Of course, Illan Meslier is the club’s no.1 and Caprile would have no chance of overtaking the Frenchman. Behind him, is veteran stopper Joel Robles and then Kristoffer Klaesson, the Norwegian.

But Robles is only contracted at the club until 2023 and brought in to add a bit of experience. A goalkeeper that Meslier and Klaesson could learn from. Robles’ first job at Elland Road is just that – rather than actually playing.

Klaesson has struggled. Just one senior outing, coming off the bench in our 3-2 comeback win over Wolves last term. For the 21’s, he has been poor at times. Caprile would quite easily be our no.2 right now, if he was to return to the club.

So, have Leeds let him go on a permanent too early? Would it not have been better to allow Caprile to go on loan to Bari this season. With Meslier attracting interest, surely, keeping Caprile on the books would have made sense.

Football friendly match Italy-Japan under 21
Photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
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