Going into the offseason a year ago, the goalkeepers were perhaps the most stable position group, led by Rob Green and longtime Leeds United starter Marco Silvestri, with Bailey Peacock-Farrell being the 3rd option might make an impact in a few years. However, Green and Silvestri both would leave the club that offseason, with former manager Thomas Christensen wanting to bring in a new style of goalkeeper, soon adding Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan. Wiedwald’s phenomenal play faded as the season dragged on, and Lonergan never impressed during his seven starts. That meant that a young Peacock-Farrell would be thrust into the spotlight, even as Leeds’ supporters wondered what keeper targets would be considered in the coming summer.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell: from the National League to full international honours in a matter of months.— David Guile (@ellandduck) May 16, 2018
Precious few fairytales for us this season; this is by far the greatest of them. #lufc
Peacock-Farrell had a wonderful end to the season and impressed both supporters and the Northern Ireland International Team, as he was recently called up to friendlies against Panama and Costa Rica. For Leeds, he ended the season 4th in Championship goalies with at least 10 starts in saves, six yard box saves, and penalty area saves. While saves can be an unreliable statistic, he was almost always in great position to bail out the revolving door that was the Leeds backline at the end of the season. With Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper missing time for injury and Gaetano Barardi’s three game suspension, Peacock-Farrell handled himself incredibly well behind a defense that occasionally featured Stuart Dallas at outside back (?) and Laurens de Bock. He did have two matches in which he allowed 3 goals, but, like most of the goals he allowed, these were more indicative of the defense, not him.
Final Season Grade: A+
Bailey Peacock-Farrell has made a convincing case to Victor Orta that he deserves to be the first team starter for next year, and was one of the few bright spots in an unsatisfying end to the season. If he plays well in his upcoming international matches, he could easily become the heir to the starting job in Northern Ireland. He is also important financially, because Leeds does not have the resources of other large-market Championship teams. Producing money-saving academy players like Peacock-Farrell will be critical to the success of the team. Surely with his emergence, the club will be able to allocate additional funds to positions with a greater need.
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