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Young Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell gets clean sheet in Northern Ireland U21 debut

Young keeper impresses on international debut, but is he ready for the full-time job next year?

Northern Ireland v Russia - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Leeds United’s young starting goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell got a clean sheet on his debut for Northern Ireland’s U21s as Northern Ireland drew 0-0 with Iceland. Peacock-Farrell, who has recently been called into the first team with Leeds, had a good personal debut, even if the team’s result isn’t exactly what anyone for Northern Ireland would have wished for.

Northern Ireland’s U21 were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw against Iceland in Belfast, as the team could easily have scored a half-dozen goals, but were cruelly denied a winning goal in a match that would have gone a long way towards cementing their place in the U21 European Championships.

Northern Ireland will now have to finish second to Spain in their group and be one of the top four second-place finishers to guarantee a spot in next year’s U21 Euros to be held in Italy. They’ll have to win the rest of their matches, including a tough road game away in Spain, to have a shot.

For Leeds fans, however, the takeaway from this match should be that Bailey Peacock-Farrell had another good performance in net. The young keeper has been called into the first team at a critical time in his development, and rather than fold, he’s responded to the trial-by-fire in pretty decent fashion.

Has Peacock-Farrell done enough to be penciled in as the Leeds number one next season? It’s important to remember that player development doesn’t always go in a straight line, and just as he’s been brilliant since coming in for Felix Wiedwald, he’s only a few dodgy performances from having the Elland Road faithful turn on him and having his confidence shot. He’s had a good run since coming in against Wolverhampton, but at this point in his career, he still needs time to develop and be able to make the odd mistake without having the fate of the club hang on him.

Leeds should bring in an experienced veteran goalkeeper to keep the seat warm and provide some guidance to the young keeper, as it appears that he is the future of the club between the sticks.