Leeds United goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell has thrown the gauntlet down to manager Paul Heckingbottom to let him remain as the club’s number one next season.
The youngster has quickly established himself as a regular in the Whites’ starting XI after usurping both Andy Lonergan and Felix Wiedwald in the first team, the pair of summer signings having failed to hit the expected heights during their time at Elland Road.
Their poor performances led to Heckingbottom handing Peacock-Farrell his first senior appearances in two years and the 21-year-old has impressed with his displays, remaining as the first choice since his introduction.
With seven appearances under his belt, he has challenged Heckingbottom to drop him from the side, insisting he wants to stay in the senior line up and believing he has the talent to keep his place, although admits it is up to the boss and his summer plans.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I don’t feel out of depth and I’m enjoying the moment.
“In my opinion I can do it. But it’s up to the gaffer for next season, who he decides to play. It’s far away.
“I’m happy to keep the shirt and keep the number one spot. Hopefully I can finish the season and play the rest of the games. I think as a young player, sometimes you just need to get thrown in the deep end.
“You sink or swim and I think I’ve been swimming recently.”
Football Insider verdict
Leeds certainly have not had much to cheer this season but the emergence of their young starlets into the senior side, whether through manager’s choice or an enforced change, is one of the few bright points. Peacock-Farrell, or BPF as fans know him, might have been a risky switch after very little senior action and a disappointing loan spell into the National League, but he has risen to the challenge and performed admirably where his team mates have failed. Will he be guaranteed the number one shirt next season? It seems unlikely, with Heckingbottom likely to seal a move for a more senior stopper, but he will no doubt be fighting for the senior role and looking to capitalise on any future opportunities in the first team.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites’ bargain pursuit of a 26-year-old spells trouble for a senior mainstay.