Bailey Peacock-Farrell will feel devastated that he has been reduced to the fringes in the final months of Leeds United’s promotion-seeking campaign, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former United striker claimed the United goalkeeper had “not done a great deal wrong” during his extended spell as number one in the first half of the campaign.
Peacock-Farrell started 27 of the 28 first league matches of the season, with Leeds top of the Championship before he made way for January signing Kiko Casilla.
“Bailey will be felt hard done by to be quite honest with you,” Whelan said. “He was dropped when we were top of the league, he had not done a great deal wrong to be dropped but saying that we did need more experience.
“He’s still a young lad, become an international player now with Northern Ireland, but I think Kiko Casilla can be a player he can learn from as well, he’s still young, still learning his trade a few mistakes crept into his game this season, very nearly dropped before Blackman got injured as well, then came back and showed immense character by saving a penalty in a game.
“He is going from strength to strength but I just think you need someone with a little bit more guile, a little bit more authority in the goal and that’s why we went for somebody like Kiko, who’s come from Real Madrid. He’s not going to come from Real Madrid to sit on the bench behind Bailey Peacock- Farrell, he was always going to be number one.”
United have maintained their promotion surge since Casilla was signed on a four-year contract from the Champions League holders.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are second in the league, three points ahead of Sheffield United in third, as they prepare for Friday afternoon’s clash against Wigan Athletic at Elland Road.
Casilla is all but certain to keep his place in goal, with academy product Peacock-Farrell once again on the bench.
In other Leeds United news, the club are closing in on a JAWDROPPING £177million windfall after developments this week.