Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa


Noel Whelan says that Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla is still showing the decision making which saw him come under heavy fire for his displays last season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds star and lifelong fan of the club admits he loves the way in which the Spaniard operates between the sticks but that it will have hearts in mouths at times.

Casilla, a January signing from Real Madrid, was heavily criticised for his performance in the Championship play-off semi-final against Derby County, the Whites’ defeat ending their chances of promotion.

Whelan says that the 32-year-old was making the same decisions he did against the Rams in their opening game versus Bristol City last Sunday and that he needs to learn some common sense to be a success.

“I think we’re going to see interesting performances from Kiko Casilla all season,” Whelan told Football Insider.

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“He will come for pretty well anything in the 18-yard box and I love that but there’s got to be an element of decision making and common sense.

“He does scare me, he’s very laid back when the ball comes to him but I guess that’s just the character he is. He is very calm and collected even when he’s being put under pressure.

“We saw it against Derby County and we did see those moments again against Bristol but he got there this time. There’s going to be heart in mouth moments.”

Casilla has conceded 23 goals in his 20 appearances for the Whites to date, with six clean sheets under his belt.

He is the established first-choice goalkeeper under Marcelo Bielsa, with Leeds bringing in Illan Meslier on loan from Lorient to act as his understudy this season.

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider that the board have hampered crucial talks with their planning.