Leeds United: Whites left with choice of ‘two fine men’ to take up Horton’s place

BENCH PRESS: Leeds 'United's Bailey Peacock-Farrell may get a place on the bench against QPR.' Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

BENCH PRESS: Leeds 'United's Bailey Peacock-Farrell may get a place on the bench against QPR.' Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

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Leeds United head coach Steve Evans is weighing up the choice between development-squad goalkeepers Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Eric Grimes for a place on the bench at Queens Park Rangers tomorrow.

Evans will name one of the youngsters among his substitutes at Loftus Road after American Charlie Horton quit United to return to the USA for personal reasons this week.

Horton cut short a two-year deal at Leeds following a death in his family, weakening a pool of keepers which was already running low after Ross Turnbull suffered a broken ankle in a training-ground game last month.

First-choice Marco Silvestri is the only experienced option available to Evans and United failed to sign a new keeper before yesterday’s emergency loan deadline.

Neither 20-year-old Grimes - a Republic of Ireland Under-21 international - nor 19-year-old Peacock-Farrell have played for Leeds’ first team or featured in a matchday squad before but Peacock-Farrell completed the closing minutes of a friendly at Wycombe Wanderers during the recent international break. Evans said: “We’ve got two fine men who can do what Charlie would have done.

“We’ll sit down as a staff and talk about it. I have a clear thought in my mind but I’ve said before, I try to be democratic, not autocratic.”

“I’ll take the opinion of the staff but there’s certainly a definite preference for me.”

Leeds will be without Swiss full-back Gaetano Berardi, who starts a two-game ban after his red card against Rotherham United, but Evans said captain Sol Bamba had an outside chance of being involved, despite nursing a fractured toe.

Left-back Charlie Taylor, meanwhile, looks set to start for the first time since October 3 after recovering from a bout of glandular fever.

Taylor played 45 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game on Wednesday and Evans said: “Charlie came through unscathed and he’s been outstanding in the week that he’s trained. He’s an option.”

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