ANALYSIS By Harry Sykes
Rob Green is making a big mistake if he quits Leeds United as a result of starting the season on the substitute’s bench.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim the future of the veteran goalkeeper, 37, is up in the air following the summer arrival of Felix Wiedwald from Werder Bremen.
It is said that it is the “apparent intention” of manager Thomas Christiansen for Wiedwald to be installed as the new first-choice at Elland Road.
The Yorkshire Evening Post report that it is “difficult to imagine” Green remaining at the club before the August transfer cut-off if he begins the campaign on the sidelines.
The veteran keeper should think again. Quitting at the first sign of rejection would be a hasty move and one he might come to regret.
Naturally, it would be a massive kick in the teeth if he is overlooked in favour of the younger man when Christiansen names his starting XI for Sunday’s Championship opener against Bolton Wanderers.
Green was an ever-present during Leeds’ 46-match campaign last season and was arguably their outstanding performer in the final few months when the team’s form collapsed and their play-off hopes went up in smoke.
He is also renowned as a strong and positive character in the dressing room, whose presence and experience lifts other players, particularly younger ones.
Wiedwald, 27, has been handed a three-year contract and is regarded as the man for the future.
But few foreign keepers hit the ground running in the Championship and there are bound to be mishaps and mistakes as the new man gets used to the unique rhythms of the divisions.
Even if he is overlooked for the early matches, Green should ignore fidgety agents and hang fire.
He can be remembered as a hero at Leeds, one of England’s biggest clubs lest we forget, if he stays for three or four years and remains part of a club that genuinely now seems to be on the up.
The experienced campaigner represents a brilliant fall-back option if Christiansen does fluff his lines.
Be patient, Rob, and if the new keeper is the real deal, look for a move in January. Until then, stay strong and stay put.
In other Leeds United news, the Yorkshire giants have ramped up their interest in signing one of the best left-backs in the Championship.