Illan Meslier was signed on loan from FC Lorient in the summer to be back up to Kiko Casilla.
France youth international Meslier put in some excellent performances for Leeds’ U23 side, showing a particular penchant for saving penalties - it was expected that Leeds would give Meslier a chance in the League Cup but Marcelo Bielsa chose to stick with Kiko Casilla for the matches against Salford City and Stoke City.
Meslier didn’t get to make his debut until January’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, where he put in an excellent performance in a 1-0 defeat. Meslier impressed in particular with his distribution - playing some fantastic passes.
Illan Meslier, what a keeper. Literally the perfect mould of a modern goalkeeper. Superb distribution, shot stopping is great & he's only 20. If Leeds don't make the deal permanent, someone HAS to go in for him. pic.twitter.com/MssfRY8ziL— PP (@PhilosophyPhase) March 22, 2020
Meslier has only had the opportunity to play in two Championship fixtures, coming in after Kiko Casilla was banned for eight games for racially abusing Jonathan Leko against Charlton Athletic.
Illan Meslier since coming in for Kiko:— All Day LUFC (@AllDayLUFC) March 8, 2020
4 Saves made
100% Shots on target save %
54 Passes made
89% Pass Accuracy
9 Long passes made
69% Long pass accuracy
0 Goals conceded
2 Clean sheets
Not been busy, but solid start by @MeslierIllan #LUFC pic.twitter.com/fZyUvjI6NG
In those games, Leeds United have won 4-0 away at Hull City and a 2-0 home win against Huddersfield Town. Leeds have been by far the better side in both of these games and have dominated the games, but when Meslier has been called into action he has been up to the task.
SEASON (so far) RATING
In his three games he hasn’t had a bad game, but his best game definitely came at the Emirates - for me he has displaced Kiko Casilla as the number one goalkeeper at the club (even without the moral reasons) and he should remain in the side after Casilla’s ban ends.
Part of his rating is based on how well he has done compared to expectations, and he has far exceeded expectations. It should be a no-brainer for Leeds to sign him permanently, regardless of which division Leeds are in - he looks like becoming a very good goalkeeper. 7.5/10