The 2017-18 Young Player of the Year Award at Leeds United has been won by the U21 Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell. The 21 year-old goalkeeper has gone from exile to starter in less than a season.
Leeds brought in two new goalkeepers in the summer, Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan, and allowed Robert Green to leave for Huddersfield Town and Marco Silvestri went back to Italy to join up with Hellas Verona. After a loan deal to Oldham Athletic fell through, Peacock-Farrell was sent out on loan for a month to York City. Much to everyone’s surprise, however, he has stepped in and made nine appearances in goal for Leeds.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell has been surprise starter and an even bigger surprise success at Leeds United this season. He’s gone from afterthought and a potential exile to the starting goalkeeper, putting in good performances left and right. And despite being with the club for a few seasons, Peacock-Farrell got his chance through luck and injury ahead of him, not necessarily because Leeds head coach Paul Heckingbottom thought he was ready.
Peacock-Farrell was only really brought into the team in the past few months, as the summer signing from Werder Bremen, Wiedwald, once again put in a few awful performances in January and February after a decent showing in December. However, with the backup goalkeeper, Lonergan, out injured, Peacock-Farrell was called into starting duty against Wolverhampton. And yes, while Leeds lost the match 3-0 to Wolves, Peacock-Farrell showed a lot of composure and did a fine job between the sticks. Peacock-Farrell was even called into starting duty for the Northern Ireland U21s, where he recorded a clean sheet.
Peacock-Farrell has taken his chance even better than expected, and instead of being seen as a stop-gap until the end of the season, he’s proven to be a legitimate candidate to land the job on a full-time basis next season. The future at goalkeeper looks bright at Leeds right now.