Charlie Horton is preparing to make his first appearance on the bench for Leeds United today but boss Uwe Rosler wants to sign another goalkeeper in the wake of Ross Turnbull’s injury.
Horton, the USA Under-23 international, looks set to act as cover for Marco Silvestri against Brighton after regular second-choice Turnbull was lost to a broken ankle sustained in a friendly at Thorp Arch last week.
Turnbull, 30, has undergone surgery and is likely to be absent until after Christmas, leaving Rosler to choose between 21-year-old Horton and 20-year-old Eric Grimes, another of United’s young prospects.
Leeds did not move to find a new keeper in time of this afternoon’s clash with the Championship’s leaders but Rosler admitted he would not be doing “any favours” to the likes of Horton or Grimes by using them as long-term back-up for Silvestri.
Both players are highly rated but neither has made an appearance at first-team level. Horton was signed from Cardiff City in the summer with a view to regular development-squad involvement this season.
Rosler, who has consistently backed Silvestri following a number of errors this season, has until the latter stages of November to recruit and alternative from the emergency loan market.
United’s head coach said: “The player who comes into consideration first and foremost is Charlie Horton. But Charlie got signed for the next development phase.
“It was meant to be that he was getting regular playing time in the Under-21s. That was always the plan and I don’t think we’d do Charlie Horton or Eric Grimes or Bailey (Peacock-Farrell, United’s 18-year-old prospect) any favours by having them for three or four months on the bench as a number two.
“We have to look into that. You have to be ready for the Championship and ready for this football club as well.”
Turnbull - once a Champions League winner with Chelsea - joined Leeds on a two-year deal from Barnsley in July but has played only once, in a League Cup defeat to Doncaster Rovers in August.
Rosler said: “It’s a bitter blow for me.
“Ross’ role was very important - his footballing qualities, his attitude towards training and his experience in the dressing room. We don’t have many players with that type of experience.
“He played his role very well and he performed well against Doncaster. I really miss him. It’s a vacuum for us on the football side but also in the dressing room.”