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Leeds United transfer news as 49ers ready to hand Daniel Farke new player

Leeds United boss Daniel Farke is expected to be handed his next signing at Elland Road as the 49ers hope their pursuit to sign a goalkeeper could be concluded and announced soon, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The new owners of the Whites broke their transfer duck to sign Ethan Ampadu from Chelsea for a fee within the region of £7m and want to make their second signing of the window in the coming days, with a new number one set to come through the door.

Few areas have been of such importance since Farke’s arrival in Yorkshire, with Illian Meslier expected to leave Elland Road before the end of the transfer window and Joel Robles departure a distant memory, the space between the posts currently remains rather empty.

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Discussing the ambition of the board, reporter Graham Smyth wrote: “The Whites are hopeful of getting a deal for a goalkeeper sorted in the next few days and Farke would like to strengthen in ‘all areas’ of the pitch.”

One name that has been consistently mooted with a move to Elland Road this summer has been Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who spent the second half of last season on loan in the second tier with Hull City.

Comparing Darlow with Meslier is an interesting task, a glance at the Newcastle stoppers’ FBREf scouting report quite clearly shows that he is a number one that gets seriously involved in play, sitting in the top 1% of men’s keepers in the next 8 competitions for touches per 90 minutes with an average of 51.75 touches a game.

Now Meslier did have the caveat of being part of a Leeds side that consistently struggled last season, but he was in the bottom 20% of keepers for touches in the last year, with an average of 33 per 90. On top of this 39.4% of his passes were ‘launched’ over a distance of further than 40 yards.

Darlow instead only plays long passes 27.5% of the time, making him an ideal fit for a side that wants to control possession, but his abilities aren’t limited to the ball being at his feet, as he averages a clean sheet in 41.7% of the matches he plays.

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While the Whites are facing competition from Bournemouth for the 32-year-old keeper, the attraction and guarantee of being the number one at Elland Road may convince Darlow that it is the best option for his career.

Suits the Farke style

Farke’s Championship winning Norwich City team in 2020/21, were incredibly dominant in possession, only registering the smaller share of the ball in three matches throughout the campaign.

For a side to have this much of the ball it must stem from the back, especially the goalkeeper, as shown at the top level with Manchester City’s Ederson, and it seems that Darlow would fit the mould of a Farke keeper well.

However, if the Whites are to miss out at the hands of Bournemouth, they’ll need to ensure that they are able to find a keeper who is just as capable of playing with the ball at his feet, as he is at keeping it out of the net.

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Every team promoted from the division last season had a reliable and consistent number one at their disposal and if Meslier does remain at Elland Road he could fill that role. But if and more likely when he departs Kristoffer Klaesson isn’t yet at the level of a side hoping to win promotion to the Championship.

Whoever it is that the Whites are set to sign, it appears that we’ll see them in Leeds United kit in the next few days

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