Kiko Casilla probed on Leeds return, as he thanks Victor Orta in revealing message

Date published: Monday 26th July 2021 3:54 - Jonny Whitfield

Kiko Casilla, Leeds goalkeeper

Elche’s on-loan Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla says that he has no intentions to return and fight for a place in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad.

The Spaniard left earlier this summer to forge a resurgence in his home country, following struggles. While he spent a full year as Leeds’ number one, he then faced a racism charge and a ban. Illan Meslier stepped in during his initial loan spell, but he quickly cemented his role as the number-one choice.

Leeds boss Bielsa was a staunch defender of Casilla, 34, when he faced criticism.

For instance, the manager spoke out to support him after January’s 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Crawley and the Carabao Cup exit to Hull, both last season.

Speaking in a fresh interview with AS, the goalkeeper has revealed he thought about leaving Leeds earlier this year.

“Six months ago I had the thought of returning to the Spanish league,” Casilla said.

“I want to thank Leeds, especially [director of football] Victor Orta, for all the facilities they gave me to leave. He knows what I can give to this club.

“It is a normal and current option until the end of the season, but when it ends, if all goes well, there would be no problems to continue. My intention is to stay in Spain.”

Meslier has since stamped his mark on the Premier League. The French 21-year-old kept 11 clean sheets in 35 games to help Leeds finish ninth in their first season back in the top flight since 2004.

Casilla, though, insisted that his time in England is over.

Casilla to avoid Leeds return

Kiko Casilla Leeds v Brighton January 2021

“I have done like a reset to mark a point and apart. It will be difficult for me to return to England,” the goalkeeper said.

“Returning to the Spanish league is an interesting challenge that makes me very excited.

“Although I have been in teams like Real Madrid or Espanyol, I have also had to row from the second category in England with Leeds.

“Almost nobody accepts that and I did it. The category is one thing and that you like football is another.”

Leeds have added to their squad this summer by signing Junior Firpo from Barcelona.


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