With reports suggesting that David Stockdale has been told he can leave the club this summer, it does ring alarm bells about the club’s ambitions for next season.
As we don’t have the inside track as to what has prompted us to leave the door open for our no.13’s departure, there are two ways of looking at what is going on:
1) Monk Making His Mark
Although not always the most consistent of performers during his first year with us, the keeper is still one of the best shot-stoppers in the Championship. However, Garry Monk may feel he is not an essential player to keep.
That may sound counter-intuitive considering Stockdale’s quality but the manager is keen on building a squad fully committed to the cause. Leeds are seeking a new number one this summer, and with it being his hometown club, our goalkeeper may have had his head turned.
If that has indeed happened, we may have decided there is no point keeping him, especially due to the wages he is earning. If he is not happy staying, it would go against Monk’s philosophy of building a tight-knit group focused on playing for the club.
2) Financial Matters
Financial Fair Play is something that the club will have to deal following our spending last summer. The £17million loss in the second half of 2017 will mean we will likely have to sell before we buy.
With Stockdale on a reported £35k a week, one of the club’s top wage earners, combined with his high resale value, it could allow Monk room to manoeuvre in the transfer market.
Significant changes will be required to this squad before the start of next season and with the restrictions placed on us by FPP, difficult choices will have to be made.
In my opinion, the second scenario is likelier. The Yorkshire Evening Post‘s chief football writer Phil Hay believes Leeds’s interest in the keeper only came about after being made aware of Stockdale’s availability.
At the moment, there has been no official word from either club or the player, so we will just have to wait and see how things play out in the coming days and weeks.