Former Whites defender hails Kiko Casilla improvement after mixed Leeds United start

Former Leeds United defender Ben Parker has hailed the improvement of Whites goalkeeper Kiko Casilla's decision making.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 8:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 9:57 am
Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

The 33-year-old stopper joined the Whites ranks in January from Real Madrid on a free transfer and has a number of Champions League winners medals.

Casilla was immediately handed a starting spot under Marcelo Bielsa following his switch to Elland Road from the Bernabeu as he replaced former stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell in goal.

The Spaniard, though, is remembered most for his role in United's downfall in last season's Championship play-off semi-finals against Derby County.

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Casilla collided with club captain Liam Cooper on the stroke of half-time in LS11, which aided the Whites defeat as their season ended abruptly at the hands of the Rams in agonising fashion.

After mounting speculation he opted to remain in West Yorkshire this term, and could be seen apologising to fans during the club’s pre-season friendly at York City.

Parker, though, now believes that after a period of adjustment to the second tier of English football the former Spain international has come to terms with life under Bielsa and the Whites.

"I don't think this is a Kiko Casilla thing," he said.

"Any keeper you see outside his area, everyone has a little panic. Even as a player, you're thinking he has to get there.

"Kiko's starting positions this season have been so much better than last year.

"At times he's been a touch deeper, he's reading the game better, he's adjusted to the speed of the Championship and when he has to come out.

"He hasn't done it every game and that decision making has been crucial.

"The times he has come out, you're thinking Kiko you've got to get there, but he has got the ball and showed that it was the right decision.

"That says to me he's adjusted to the league, he looks a more solid all-round goalkeeper."