Leeds United Opinion: Luke Daniels is certainly worth a punt for the Whites
According to Football Insider, Leeds United have been credited with an interest in Brentford shot-stopper Luke Daniels, with the report claiming that manager Marcelo Bielsa is keen to have all his bases covered heading into the upcoming campaign.
Football Insider understands that the Whites are in the market for a new goalkeeper due to the uncertainty over the futures of Kiko Casilla and Bailey Peacock-Farrell, and they have identified the 31-year-old as someone who could possibly provide cover and increase competition for places in the ranks.
The Yorkshire giants are yet to spend big this summer but Bielsa has provided a strong hint that he wants to get his business done very early in the transfer window.
Apart from securing the services of Ben White on loan from Brighton and bringing Jack Harrison back for a second consecutive loan spell from Premier League champions Man City, Leeds have also struck a deal for 18-year-old Carlisle United winger Liam McCarron.
Bielsa having a new shot-stopper on his recruitment list for the summer is quite understandable, given that neither Bailey Peacock-Farrell nor Kiko Casilla looked particularly convincing in the No.1 role between the sticks last season.
Peacock-Farrell served as the No.1 in the first half of the previous campaign, following a season-ending injury to Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman but the arrival of Casilla from Real Madrid in January pushed the Northern Irishman down the pecking order at Elland Road.
Casilla arrived at Elland Road with a lot of expectations, considering his wealth of experience and escapades in the La Liga over the years. However, he struggled to get to grips with the style of play prevalent in the Championship.
In all honesty, was one of the villains of Leeds’ collapse in the playoffs, with the Spaniard’s shocking error of judgement against Derby County in the second leg of the semi-finals costing them dear.
Peacock-Farrell continues to be a highly-rated prospect, despite committing a number of blunders last season, but Bielsa should definitely try to increase competition for places by bringing in a fresh face this summer.
To put things into perspective, the club’s links with Luke Daniels is unlikely to get the fans at Elland Road off their feet but getting him on board might as well prove to be a shrewd piece of business for the Whites.
Daniels, who made his move to Brentford from League One side Scunthorpe United on a free transfer back in the summer of 2017, played second-fiddle to Daniel Bentley for large quarters of the previous campaign.
However, the 31-year-old was installed as the No.1 towards the end of the season, following a shoulder injury to Bentley and he grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
The Bolton-born stopper made a total of 19 appearances for the Bees in all competitions this past season, managing 6 clean sheets and conceding 27 goals in the process.
The 6ft. 4-inch goalkeeper impressed with his shot-stopping abilities from all ranges, whilst also showcasing commendable levels of concentration and composure to keep things under control inside his own penalty area.
Daniels boasts of a wealth of Football League experience under his belt even since coming through the youth ranks of Man United and West Brom, having featured for the likes of Scunthorpe United, Tranmere Rovers, Shrewsbury Town, Charlton Athletic, Bristol Rovers, Rochdale and Southend United in League One and League Two over the course of his career.
A former youth international for England, the 31-year-old hasn’t played much in the Championship but he proved last season that he is good enough to deliver the goods in the second-tier when called upon to do so.
The shot-stopper has only a single year left on his current contract at Griffin Park, meaning that Leeds might be able to snap him up for a bargain price this summer.
It is still unclear whether Bielsa is looking to move on either Casilla or Peacock-Farrell to make way for the 31-year-old but his arrival would surely increase competition for places in a key area of the pitch.
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To conclude, Leeds need to look to for a few marquee signings to reinvigorate their promotion push next season, and while Daniels doesn’t fall within that bracket, the Whites should not hesitate to play a low-cost gamble on him.