The goalkeeping situation at Leeds United has always been one of the weaker spots of the side, even when the side itself was weak.
Whites fans will shudder at the recollection of Paul Rachubka’s disaster 4-0 horror half against Blackpool in 2011 when mistake after mistake led to him being hoicked off at half-time and replaced by youngster Alex Cairns. Fast-forward a little and you have the likes of Marco Silvestri and Felix Wiedwald to contend with.
In fairness, the situation at the moment is much more stable with former Real Madrid stopper Kiko Casilla at the helm. Still, doubt remains there what with the allegations of a racially-charged slur levied against him by the FA after the Charlton game this season. In that game, Casilla is alleged to have addressed Addicks striker Jonathan Leko with terms of a racial nature, something Casilla strenuously denies.
Still, the FA have charged the former Real Madrid man and, should the allegations prove founded, then United are looking at a lengthy suspension for Casilla. Behind him in the depth chart at Elland Road is untried French youngster Ilhan Meslier, and behind him raw youngsters such as Kamil Miazek. With some Leeds United fans begging for experienced cover comes news that these pleas might be answered.
Per Leeds Live, quoting a story in the Sunday People, the Whites are interested in Leeds-born stopper David Stockdale. This link is a familiar one, a link that seems to come around with a degree of regularity whenever a transfer window beckons. Reporting what the Sunday People report says, that Leeds will be moving for Stockdale in January what with the uncertainty surrounding the Kiko Casilla situation.
Currently on the books at Leeds’ Championship rivals Birmingham City, 34-year-old Stockdale would certainly bring with him a wealth of experience with 378 career appearances under his belt across all competitions. Despite some iffy performances from Lee Camp, Stockdale hasn’t featured in the league for the Blues this season and has just one appearance to his name – a 3-0 loss to Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup.
With United riding high in the Sky Bet Championship standings and looking to push on in the second half of the season, a move for an experienced stopper such as David Stockdale makes a lot of sense. Despite Ilhan Meslier saying that he’s ready to step up and take on the responsibility should Casilla face a lengthy ban, Whites fans might be more reassured at the presence of Birmingham keeper Stockdale between the sticks.