COMMENT By Richard Parks
Leeds United’s whirlwind of signings has showed no signs of abating since owner Andrea Radrizzani gave recruitment chief Victor Orta the green light to overhaul the senior and development squads last summer.
As new documents registered with the Football Association, and exclusively revealed by Football Insider for the first time, show, another of the many names added to an almost dizzying list is goalkeeper Kamil Miazek.
Indeed, the Pole, 21, agreed terms with the Championship giants on 1 November of last year, although there has been no announcement from Leeds even though he has made a number of appearances for the club’s Under-23s and was on the bench for their 1-1 draw against Sheffield United yesterday (Monday).
Miazek, who was previously in Feyenoord’s academy, had been on trial with Leeds last autumn after leaving Polish outfit Chojniczanka Chojnice last summer to become a free agent.
He is one of a number of young keepers at Leeds, along with Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who has made one first-team appearance, and Will Huffer, who are understudying senior pair Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan.
Miazek could turn out to be one of the increasingly under-fire Orta’s best deals yet.
Thomas Christiansen certainly appeared to think so, as he put the youngster on the fast-track to the senior side by taking him with the senior squad to a training camp in Spain last month.
Those who have watched him closely for the Under-23s speak highly of his agility, reflexes and ability to command his area.
It is no secret that United are short of quality keeper back-ups, with question marks not only over veteran Lonergan but also over first choice Wiedwald following a number of high profile recent blunders.
Former England and Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson delivered a withering assessment of the German in the wake of his missed-punch howler in the team’s 2-2 draw against Bristol City on Sunday.
“I think they need another goalkeeper, to be brutally honest,” Robinson said. “I’ve seen him a couple of times this season and he hasn’t filled me with confidence.
“He didn’t look confident and doesn’t look the whole package. He played Under-21s for Germany, he’s 27 now and should be more developed as a goalkeeper. That’s an area Leeds are going to have to look to strengthen.”
Paul Heckingbottom backed Wiedwald at his media briefing on Tuesday (what other choice did he have?) but there is no doubt that the long-term keeper position at Leeds is up for grabs.
Having spent the majority of his youth days playing with Feyenoord, it is unlikely that Miazek would be overawed by moving to the Championship giants.
He has played for Poland at Under-19 level and clearly is an exciting talent.
He could prove to be a smart acquisition. Moreover, his timing is good as he arrives just when Leeds are in dire need of a keeper with the capabilities of delivering when it matters.
In other Leeds United news, Paul Robinson drools over the one player at Elland Road who has blown him away this season.
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COMMENT By Richard Parks