When Leeds United brought in Felix Wiedwald from Werder Bremen earlier this season, it was seen as a curious move given the season that ex-England number one Rob Green had just completed. The Leeds keeper had supplanted previous starter Marco Silvestri and given stability and quality between the sticks for Leeds. If anything, Silvestri was seen as the one who would be leaving.
Now, rumors are floating about that Green is seen as surplus to requirements at the club and he’s been allowed to find another club. He had been linked with a shock move to Arsenal a few weeks ago, but those rumors died as quickly as they appeared. He also has been linked with moves to Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
It seems a bit silly to let Green go. He was fantastic last year, and although he is 37 years old, the former Norwich City, West Ham United, and Queens Park Rangers keeper is still in great shape and performing at a high level.
It also seems silly to go out and spend the money transferring a new keeper when Brighton & Hove Albion’s David Stockdale, who is from Leeds, was available after leading the south coast club to promotion last year. He ended up signing for Birmingham City on a free transfer after refusing a new contract with Brighton. Was Stockdale better than Green or Wiedwald? Maybe, but he’s better than Silvestri.
Goalkeeper was a position that wasn’t necessarily a need going into the summer transfer window. Central defence, striker, and left back were the obvious priorities for the new backroom staff of Victor Orta and his scouts. In fact, after Green was brilliant last year, most Leeds fans would have thought that a new keeper was the absolute last position that was needed.
So while it’s understandable that Green could be available for a transfer after a new keeper was brought in from the Bundesliga, it’s a bit troubling that the one area that wasn’t seen as a problem should suddenly see the exit of an established player. Green is a known quantity, and should have no problem finding a place to play. However, with Wiedwald an unknown in such a critical position, it is very surprising to see the club find Green surplus to requirements.