Joel Robles Completes Premier League Return

Joel Robles

The Joel Robles transfer to Leeds United has been confirmed by the club, with the Yorkshire outfit adding to their current faction of goalkeepers. Robles is the club’s eighth signing of the window and is expected to play as a backup.

All About the Joel Robles Leeds United Move

What Did The Player Cost?

Leeds United completed this deal on an entirely free basis. The Spaniard’s contract at Real Betis reached its end in the summer and, following the permanent departure of Kiko Casilla following a season-long loan at Elche, the Whites made their move.

The goalkeeper returns to the Premier League after a four-season stint at Real Betis, racking up 56 La Liga appearances and acting as a backup to Rui Silva in the 2021/22 season. The Premier League side has chosen to not disclose the player’s wages.

What Does This Mean for Illan Meslier?

Illan Meslier’s position as first-choice keeper is safe. The club’s official statement claims that Robles: “Will provide further competition to fellow goalkeepers Illan Meslier and Kristoffer Klaesson”. Despite this, the Frenchman’s excellent performances throughout last season and against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the season opener mean that Robles has a mountain to climb before reaching the first team.

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Joel Robles is acting as a backup in case of an injury crisis. In last season’s away clash against Wolves, Meslier suffered an injury that forced him off. With Klaesson also a victim of the occasional injury, the elder goalkeeper’s presence provides more depth if the club find themselves short. Cup games are the likeliest outlet for the Spaniard in a fully-fit side.

How Does Joel Robles Play?

With a higher than average distance for defensive actions and more defensive actions outside the penalty area than most goalkeepers in his last La Liga season, Leeds United can expect something of a sweeper keeper.

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This fits in well with the way Meslier plays at the moment. One slight difference is Robles’ low passing statistics. This is something less important in a Marsch system than that of Bielsa, but still an area for improvement.