Why Leeds United should avoid a move for Angus Gunn
As per the report, the Saints are willing to listen to loan offers for the 24-year-old, who is currently behind the likes of Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster in the pecking order at St. Mary’s.
Gunn has also attracted interest from Championship outfit Stoke City, with Southampton keen to provide the young keeper with regular minutes. (Football Insider h/t Hampshire Live)
Angus Gunn started his footballing education at hometown club Norwich City before joining Man City’s youth ranks back in 2011. He impressed for the Citizens’ U-23 side at the Premier League 2 level but struggled to break into the first-team at the Etihad.
The 24-year-old was loaned out to Norwich City in the summer fo 2017 and he went on to enjoy a brilliant debut season in the Championship, keeping 16 clean sheets in 51 appearances for the Canaries across all competitions.
Gunn’s heroics in the second-tier paved the way for Southampton to offer him a return to the Premier League and the towering shot-stopper signed a 5-year deal with the Saints in the summer of 2018. The former England U-21 international has since made 30 appearances for Southampton in all competitions, managing 8 clean sheets in the process.
Leeds should look at better keepers than Gunn
Leeds United currently have youngster Illan Meslier as their No.1 between the sticks with Kiko Casilla as an experienced understudy. Casilla was the designated first-choice for Marcelo Bielsa during the first half of last season before the Spaniard’s 8-game suspension paved the way for Meslier to establish himself in the starting XI.
Meslier was quite brilliant in the second-tier last season and kept 7 clean sheets in 10 league games towards the end of the campaign. The France U-20 international has endured a tough start to life in the top-flight, though, conceding seven goals in his first three games.
With that in mind, however, it would be unfair to take anything away from Meslier, who made a number of good saves against Liverpool, Fulham and Sheffield United, while also commanding his box really well so far.
Ideally, Bielsa should hand Meslier an extended run in the starting XI to allow him to get to grips with the intensity of the top-flight. It would be completely understandable, however, if the manager opts to bring in another keeper, preferably with some PL experience, to increase competition for places.
Angus Gunn, though, hardly fits the bill as an upgrade on Leeds’ existing options between the sticks despite boasting PL experience in his CV. The 24-year-old has been tipped for a bright future ever since his younger days in Manchester City’s academy but has only flattered to deceive in the top-flight.
In fact, the former England youth international has a dismal record in the top-flight, having conceded 43 goals in 22 league fixtures for Southampton. Gunn conceded as many as 25 goals in 10 PL outings for the Saints last season, while his pathetic save percentage of just 55 was the worst in the entire division.
- Why Leeds United signing Emile Smith Rowe on loan would be a smart move
- Why Pedro De La Vega would be a good signing for Leeds United
Going by those numbers, it’s hardly a surprise that Angus Gunn has struggled to compete with the likes of McCarthy and Forster for a regular starting role at Southampton.
The 24-year-old has impressed in patches, with his man-of-the-match display in the Saints’ goalless draw against Chelsea back in January 2019 being one of the highlights of his top-flight career so far. However, Leeds United simply can’t afford to rely on someone who has struggled to inspire much confidence in the Premier League.
Having said that, the Whites would be better off exploring other avenues if they are genuinely looking for more competition in goal.