Leeds United: Turnbull expected to challenge for No 1 spot, believes Rosler

Leeds's Lee Erwin pressurises York defender Keith Lowe. PIC: Tony Johnson
Leeds's Lee Erwin pressurises York defender Keith Lowe. PIC: Tony Johnson
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Uwe Rosler ticked another box last night with the signing of goalkeeper Ross Turnbull from Barnsley.

Leeds United’s head coach pushed his transfer plans to the verge of completion by recruiting Turnbull as cover for first-choice keeper Marco Silvestri.

United have signed Turnbull on a two-year contract after the 30-year-old completed his recovery from a back injury. Turnbull missed Barnsley’s run-in last season after undergoing surgery on the problem, but Leeds monitored him throughout the summer and finalised a free transfer yesterday.

He was signed in time to complete 80 minutes in last night’s friendly away at York City.

The former Middlesbrough and Chelsea player had 12 months remaining on his deal at Oakwell, but Barnsley will use Adam Davies as first choice during the forthcoming League One campaign and were looking to remove Turnbull from their wage bill. The transfer takes United’s tally of summer signings to six, following on from the arrival of midfielder Tom Adeyemi from Cardiff City on Tuesday and leaving a winger as Rosler’s remaining priority.

Turnbull spent the bulk of his career with Middlesbrough – a period in which he moved out on loan repeatedly – before Chelsea unexpectedly signed him in 2009.

He was rarely used at Stamford Bridge but his spell in London coincided with Chelsea winning the Champions League. A move to Doncaster Rovers followed before Barnsley took him on last summer.

Leeds were effectively without cover for Silvestri after releasing Stuart Taylor at the end of the 2014-15 season.

The club landed Charlie Horton from Cardiff last month but the 20-year-old is being lined up to play for their development squad next term.

Rosler said: “Marco did very well last season. He got stronger and stronger throughout the year and if in pre-season everything goes normal, Marco will start (the new season) as number one.

“Obviously he then has to keep the shirt and that comes from good performances.”

Turnbull was rarely troubled in a 1-1 draw at York, conceding seconds before Rosler replaced him with youngster Charlie Horton.

“He did very well,” Rosler said “It was a solid, good experienced performance from him – exactly what we need.”

Rosler admitted on Tuesday that his work in the transfer market was “95 per cent complete” after Cardiff agreed to send Adeyemi to Elland Road on a season-long loan.

Leeds want to add an out-and-out winger to their squad and the club are understood to have enquired about Floyd 
Ayite, a Togo international who plays for French top-flight side Bastia.

Ayite, 26, is an ex-Bordeaux and Reims player who finished last season with six goals as Bastia fought their way clear of relegation.

He is likely to cost a seven-figure fee, however, and United have identified other options including Catania’s Brazilian winger Raphael Martinho.

Martinho was targeted by owner Massimo Cellino last season but issues with the 27-year-old’s passport are thought to have complicated discussions.

York City: Flinders (Ingham 46), McCoy, Berrett (Godfrey 62), McCombe (Ilesanmi 67), Summerfield, Oliver (Rzonca 62) Penn (Platt 68), Carson (Straker 57), Lowe (Trialist 72), Winfield, Trialist (Trialist 57). Subs (not used): Meikle, Hirst.

Leeds United: Turnbull (Horton 80), Berardi (Wootton 72), Bellusci, Bamba, Taylor, Byram, Cook, Bianchi, Mowatt (Ajose 77), Erwin (Drury 56), Morison. Subs (not used): Purver, Dawson.

Attendance: 4,348