Leeds United have completed the signing of 19-year-old goalkeeper Illan Meslier on loan from Ligue 2 side FC Lorient.
✍️ | #LUFC are delighted to announce that France's U20s goalkeeper @MeslierIllan has joined the club on loan— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 8, 2019
The goalkeeper, who has previously held talks about moves to both AS Monaco and Chelsea, is expected to play a back up role to Kiko Casilla this season.
The statement released by Lorient suggests that Leeds have the option to make the signing permanent. A translation of their statement says: “Illan Meslier, the young goalkeeper formed at FC Lorient, joined in the form of loan (with purchase option), Leeds United (Championship, English D2). The French U-20 international has discovered Ligue 2 last season, playing 28 league games. We wish Illan an excellent season in the English league.”
While the translation isn’t great it shows that this could be a more important deal than originally thought.
Illan Meslier prêté à Leeds. Bonne saison @MeslierIllan !— FC LORIENT (@FCLorient) August 8, 2019
Meslier has a decent amount of first team experience having played 30 games for Lorient last season, the side finishing in 6th place. He also played in the U20 World Cup this summer for France.
Meslier was only on the bench for the first two matches this season following Lorient’s signing of a more experience number one in Paul Nardi from AS Monaco.
Illan Meslier is 'one of the best young goalkeepers in France.'https://t.co/swqagSOWi4#lufc— Graham Smyth (@GrahamSmyth) August 8, 2019
Meslier is Leeds’ 5th loan player in the squad, however as an international transfer he will not count towards the limit of 5 in a matchday squad.
If Meslier were to get international clearance, he would be eligible for Saturday’s match against Nottingham Forest, although with Marcelo Bielsa it is unlikely he would be used that quickly.