Leeds United to sign FA Cup winning ex-Everton, Real Betis and Atlético Madrid goalkeeper

Former Everton and Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Joel Robles is set to join Leeds United in the next week.

By Graham Smyth
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 6:48 pm

The 32-year-old Spaniard is available after leaving Real Betis in the summer and will come in as third choice at Elland Road to give Kristoffer Klaesson competition for the back-up spot.

Klaesson has picked up a slight ankle injury but is still expected to be fit enough to make the squad for Saturday’s game against Wolves.

Head coach Jesse Marsch spoke earlier today of the opening for a more experienced stopper in the goalkeeping department at Leeds.

"I think there’s an argument to have a more established goalkeeper as a back-up,” said the American.

"Marcos Abad [goalkeeping coach] has created a really good environment with the goalkeepers. Anyone we bring in we have to be very clear, there can’t be any friction.”

Robles began his senior career at Atlético Madrid after leaving Getafe and worked his way up through the youth ranks, C team and B team of Los Colchoneros but found himself as back-up to David De Gea and then Thibaut Courtois. His time with Atlético Madrid included a pair of Europa League titles as back-up keeper.

After a loan spell with Rayo Vallecano he was sent out to Wigan Athletic to get games in a first taste of English football and having displaced Ali Al-Habsi as number one, kept a clean sheet in the Latics’ FA Cup final win over Manchester City.

INCOMING KEEPER - Joel Robles will join Leeds United after leaving Real Betis this summer. The Spainard is an FA Cup winner with Premier League experience after spells with Wigan Athletic and Everton. Pic: Getty

A move to Everton in 2013 brought 65 appearances for the Toffees, 42 of which came in the Premier League.

In 2018 Robles signed a four-year contract with Real Betis and departed the club having played 78 times, keeping 24 clean sheets. He played the first three rounds of last season’s Copa del Rey but lost his place for the latter stages, including the final, in which Betis defeated Helder Costa’s Valencia.

At international level he has represented Spain up to Under 23 level and was Rodrigo’s team-mate in the squad that won th 2013 Under 21 Euros.