Leeds United have had a slow offseason and have largely failed to bring in the transfer targets they are rumored to have courted. Despite this, one position that no longer needs reinforcing is that of goalkeeper. Earlier this summer, Leeds United parted ways with both Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan, a duo who failed to impress last year, meaning that Bailey Peacock-Farrell had to become the man for Leeds.
To replace Wiedwald and Lonergan, Leeds were initially rumored to be after two extremely high-profile targets: star youngster Angus Gunn of Manchester City and David Stockdale of Birmingham City. Of course, Gunn was transferred to Southampton for a stiff £13.5 million, and signing the 32 year-old Stockdale to block Peacock-Farrell was never ideal, so Leeds found another solution in loanee Jamal Blackman.
✍️ | Leeds United are pleased to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Jamal Blackman on a season-long loan deal— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 16, 2018
Blackman, just 24, spent last season on loan at Sheffield United, and started 33 matches while proving to be at least a solid starter in the Championship. He comes to Leeds on a one-year loan from Chelsea, and looks to challenge for the starting job, though for the moment it looks like Bailey Peacock-Farrell will get the first crack against Stoke this Sunday.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell certainly earned the right to the #1 jersey, after being one of Leeds’ only bright spots last season. Hopefully with Blackman joining the team the two will be able to push each other to become better.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell expressed similar sentiment, telling reporters,
All Championship clubs always need at least two first choice goalkeepers now, that’s how it is, and I think me and Jamal, he is coming here to play games, but I’m here as well and I want to be playing games. So the competition’s going to be there and it’ll be a nice, healthy competition for the whole season.
For now, Bielsa has stated that third option will be 19-year-old Will Huffer, a member of the English U-20 team who signed his first contract with Leeds in December. This is somewhat surprising, as it looked like Kamil Miazek would be the third choice, however, Bielsa has made it clear that Huffer edged him out. If Blackman and/or Peacock-Farrell go down, then Leeds will likely call on Huffer as an emergency bench option.
Bailey, Jamal and Will put through their paces ahead of the new season pic.twitter.com/6V2Vx4REjt— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 27, 2018
After starting Andy Lonergan and Felix Wiedwald 35 times last year, Leeds’ goalkeeping woes are hopefully over for the time being, as they now have two high quality goalkeepers on the roster. It will be interesting to see how Bielsa divides their playing time, but for now fans should just be happy that Leeds have one of the best goalkeeping dilemmas in the Championship.