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What Will Huffer’s deal could mean for Leeds’ backup goalies

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Barnsley v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Two days ago, 19-year-old goalie Will Huffer got an early Christmas present in a professional contract. The deal runs through the end of the season with a club option to extend the deal by another year. Huffer has been a key in (Leeds United u23’s) head coach Carlos Corberan side, while also being a part of the England youth setup.

But you don’t exactly need four goalkeepers. Is having four keepers normal? Sure, but it doesn’t make sense in the current setting Leeds United are in. Felix Weidwald has the blessing of Andrea Radrizzani and Thomas Christiansen and looks to be the guy going forward. Sometimes it hasn’t been pretty, but if he continues to play like he did against Hull City then we’re in good hands going forward. Andy Lonergan signed a two-year deal to be his backup, and it’s been hit and miss for the vet thus far. Bailey Peacock-Farrell signed a three-year deal in July and proceeded to have his loan move to Oldham ripped up after having a poor trial. He was sent out to non-League locals York City, and conceded nine goals in four games, winning one.

In comes Will Huffer, surely someone must go, right? I’ll be interested to see who does; there’s arguments for either ‘keeper after Weidwald.

Leeds United v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Yes, Andy Lonergan came back to be a backup, and it’s always a good thing when a player comes to a club knowing his place in the team. That being said, it hasn’t been the prettiest either. 15 goals conceded in 8 games and only one clean sheet. Granted, that clean sheet was against Bristol City, and they just beat Manchester United, so clearly that means Lonergan is better then the Sergio Romero. I like Lonergan, but if the club decides it wants to head towards a youth movement then Weidwald/Peacock-Farrell/Huffer makes more sense than Weidwald/Lonergan/Huffer.

But Bailey Peacock-Farrell hasn’t had the prettiest of times, either.

The Northern Ireland international was in need of first team football, and that was supposed to happen this year as BPF was on his was to Oldham Athletic on loan. After a four-day trial at the University of Bath, Oldham decided against the deal and BPF flew out to join the team in preseason training. Already, that doesn’t look good. After not finding a club in the window, he was loaned out to non-league locals York City for a month to get a quick spell of games in. The result? 1 win, 3 losses, 9 conceded goals. York boss Martin Gray initially had interest in extending the loan, but ultimately decided to go with Darlington keeper Adam Bartlett. It says a lot about a non-league club when they’re able to pull in a young Championship keeper on loan, but it says more about the young Championship keeper when that non-league club decides to go with another non-league ‘keeper over you. It’s hard to see BPF getting consistent minutes at this level. A permanent change of scenery may be the best thing for his career. He’s got loads of potential, eventually he’s gonna be tired of sitting on the bench.

I’ll be interested in the FA cup, as it could be an early tell in the GK situation. While I’d imagine Lonergan will get the nod if/when we get deeper into the cup, a season debut for Peacock-Farrell or debut for Huffer could/should be in play against Newport County. That being said, if Lonergan starts vs Newport it could be that TC still doesn’t trust BPF. If year comes around and BPF is out on a six-month loan somewhere, that’d be beneficial for all parties involved, too.