Leeds United are reportedly considering the addition of an experienced goalkeeper to their ranks – with Ben Foster a possible option to provide competition for Illan Meslier.
The Whites avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth this season. A 2-1 win at Brentford, with Burnley losing by the same scoreline at home to Newcastle, ensured it was the Clarets who suffered the deadly drop. And having sailed so close to the wind, Leeds chiefs are determined to ensure their hand is far stronger next time around.
Indeed, most of their troubles arose from a squad that lacked enough numbers. With injuries crippling their options, Leeds lost the likes of Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper for large periods of the season.
And with results taking a downturn, Leeds rolled the dice and axed Marcelo Bielsa, replacing him with Jesse Marsch.
The American, unlike Bielsa, prefers to have a large squad to work with. As such, Leeds have already added Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg for £24m.
But as well as the injuries, Leeds also lacked competition for some of their first-choice players whenever their form dipped.
That was sometimes the case with No 1 Meslier.
The France U21 stopper was virtually an ever-present for Leeds, with only Kristoffer Klaessen for competition. The Norwegian impressed when stopping off the bench for the injured Meslier in the 3-2 win at Wolves.
Meslier lacks Leeds competition
But, by and large, Meslier lacked experienced competition on the occasions he looked shaky between the posts.
Leeds do have the experienced Kiko Casilla due to return from his loan spell with Elche. However, he is not in their long-term plans and the club will look to move the Spaniard on, most likely on a free transfer.
As such, the club wants to bring in another option this summer.
Revealing Leeds’ plans to strengthen their goalkeeping department, The Athletic’s Phil Hay says the club are stepping up their plans.
“There is a discussion going on at Leeds at the moment,” Hay says, over the composition of their goalkeeper ranks.
“They’re tempted to bring in a back-up option.”
That would see summer 2021 signing Klaessen drop down to third in the pecking order for next season if they land their man.
Ben Foster a possibility for Leeds
One man who looks a solid option for Leeds United is Ben Foster.
The 39-year-old is a free agent having left Watford at the end of his contract. And while he could not prevent the Hornets suffering relegation, he did his reputation no harm with some solid displays in nets.
Counting well over 350 Premier League appearances to his name, Foster would tick all the boxes for Marsch.
He’s also a great pro to have around the dressing room and has been a popular player wherever he has played.
YouTuber KageyVision ran the rule over the signing and suggests it is one that could work out for Leeds.
“I just think you need an experienced head to go with.
“Leeds need someone who can step in if it ever gets tough for Meslier, but is also giving him the experience, is giving him the knowledge, the know-how. Ben Foster is a decent shout.”