Exclusive: Leeds outcast told to fight for PL future after huge development
Michael Brown has urged Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla to stay at the club and fight for his spot as Marcelo Bielsa’s number one this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Elland Road midfielder claimed that the Spaniard should “take the challenge head on” and prove to the manager that he deserves to be his first choice between the sticks once again.
As revealed by Football Insider earlier this week, Casilla has been told that he will start next term as the Whites’ number two if he stays at the club in the coming weeks.
The 33-year-old has been displaced by young Frenchman Illan Meslier, who came into the side while the former Real Madrid stopper was serving a lengthy ban for racially abusing Charlton Athletic forward Jonathan Leko.
Meslier impressed during his run in the first team, conceding just four goals and keeping seven clean sheets in 10 matches.
Leeds saw fit to make his loan deal from FC Lorient permanent this summer, and it is Bielsa’s intention to reward his efforts in the latter stages of the Championship promotion push with a starting role in the top flight.
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But Brown believes that Casilla can still fight for his old place at Elland Road.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “For me, I think he has to take the challenge head on.
“Use everyday to show the boss what you can do. It happens sometimes, you lose your place, but it’s about how you react.
“It’s good character building.
“This is Premier League football we’re talking about, you have to expect a bit of competition.”
Casilla started last season as Bielsa’s undisputed number one, and made 38 appearances across all competitions.
The stopper conceded 33 goals in that time, and kept 16 clean sheets.
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan claims a senior star “has had enough” at Elland Road.