Official: Leeds sign Real Madrid’s Kiko Casilla

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Kiko Casilla of Real Madrid in action during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium on November 1, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Leeds United have completed the signing of goalkeeper Kiko Casilla from Real Madrid on a four-and-a-half-year deal

The 32-year-old began his career at Real before spending eight seasons at Espanyol and then returning to Los Blancos in 2015.

But Kiko has spent over three years playing back-up to Keylor Navas at Real and his opportunities became even further restricted following Thibaut Courtois’ arrival from Chelsea last summer.

Therefore, the one-time Spain international has only made 43 appearances for Real since returning and he’s since bought out the final 18 months of his contract to become a free agent.

Upon completing his free transfer to Leeds, Kiko revealed his delight at joining the English second division side and discussed what he can bring to the team.

“I am really happy, I want to start a new challenge in English football and I am really keen to start as soon as possible,” Kiko told the club website.

“I want to try and help my team with my experience, but always being natural and humble.

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“It is true I can help the team with these kinds of things, but it can happen by being natural.

“I like the goalkeepers who stay calm, for me this is the best trait for a goalkeeper to stay calm and this is important in my way of play.”

Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa was a key factor behind Kiko’s surprise move to Elland Road.

“I am really pleased to work with Bielsa,” added Kiko.

“I have a lot of information from when he worked in Spain, I watched the teams when he worked there and I talked with former players who worked with him and they all told me amazing things about him. I am really happy to work with him.

Kiko will compete with regular first-choice keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell for the starting spot at Leeds.

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