Leeds United goalkeeper Jamal Blackman is returning to his parent club Chelsea after breaking his tibia while playing for the U23s against Birmingham City.
The former Sheffield United keeper hadn’t played much for Leeds in the Championship, but he had made two appearances in the League Cup and also had been keeping fit by playing in the U23s.
BREAKING: Leeds United goalkeeper Jamal Blackman has fractured his tibia and will return to his parent club, Chelsea.— West Yorkshire Sport (@WYSdaily) November 16, 2018
The 25-year-old suffered the injury in today's U23 defeat to Birmingham City and made two appearances for United after joining on-loan in the summer.#LUFC pic.twitter.com/eo5tiZTuG5
This is not good news for Leeds, although it could have been worse. Bailey Peacock-Farrell has, for the most part, looked pretty solid this season, but he’s starting to not look as confident as he did down the stretch last season after winning the starting job from Felix Wiedwald.
This is the second “first team” player to be injured while playing for the U23s, with Patrick Bamford also getting injured during a U23 match earlier this season. At least Blackman wasn’t the usual starter, but many fans and pundits were wondering if he would get a chance to start after Peacock-Farrell’s dip in form.
However, if anyone is going to be injured during a U23 match, a loanee goalkeeper isn’t the worst. Blackman hadn’t been able to win the starting job from Peacock-Farrell, and it’s still November, so there is plenty of opportunity to find a new keeper in the January transfer window should Marcelo Bielsa and Director of Football Victor Orta decide that a new back-up keeper is needed. 19 year-old Will Huffer signed a professional contract last season with the club, and Leeds also have former Feyenoord U21 keeper Kamil Miazek on roster. Huffer has been called up to the England U20s in the recent past.
Is Huffer ready to step up to be the backup for the first team? Can Miazek handle the load starter for either the U23s or the first team? If the answer is no to either of those questions, look for Leeds to find another keeper during January, but for right now, Huffer will probably step in to the first team.