Why Leeds United should have signed David Stockdale
As per a report from Birmingham Mail, EFL Championship side Leeds United were set to rekindle their interest in Birmingham City goalkeeper David Stockdale in the January transfer window. However, BBC recently reported that the player has joined Wycombe Wanderers on loan.
The 33-year-old was on the Whites’ radar in the summer window as well but no move materialized at the time. However, they are believed to be interested in making a move for the Englishman again come the winter window. (h/t Birmingham Mail)
Leeds have begun the season on a strong note and look capable of pushing for a title challenge under new manager Marcelo Bielsa. However, they need reinforcements to the squad in January to sustain their form from the start of the campaign.
A new goalkeeper is something that will have jumped at the top of the list for Bielsa and director Victor Orta after backup goalkeeper Jamal Blackman had his loan agreement with Leeds cancelled. The 24-year-old suffered a broken tibia last weekend while in action for Leeds’ U-23s and has returned to his parent club, Chelsea.
His unlucky departure has exposed the Whites in the goalkeeping department. While Bailey Peacock-Farrell has been the undisputed first-choice at Elland Road, the lack of a quality backup option to call upon could hurt them dearly over the course of the campaign.
And Stockdale would have proven to be a good fit at the club. The 33-year-old Englishman has been with Birmingham City since the summer of 2017 and has gone on to make 39 appearances for the team, all of which came in the 2017/18 season.
The former Fulham goalie was deemed surplus to requirements by manager Garry Monk and he was loaned out to Southend United for a brief period of three weeks, during which he made three appearances in the League One before returning to City Grounds. Since then, Stockdale failed to make the matchday squad even once for Birmingham.
At 33, Stockdale still has plenty left to offer and with over 230 appearances in the Championship and close to 40 games in the Premier League, he has volumes of experience that would have definitely benefited this Leeds United side.
The Englishman was instrumental in Brighton & Hove Albion’s promotion in 201the 6/17 season, maintaining 20 clean sheets in 45 games in the second division. And his know-how of being an integral part of a promotion-winning side is something that Leeds could have truly utilized.
One might argue that Stockdale hasn’t played first-team football since September but he is someone with a proven pedigree at this level and would have certainly strengthened the Whites in a position that is a concern for them.