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MR View: Leeds would be totally right to seal £6m deal for promising 20-year-old starlet

Illan Meslier recently moved to Leeds United following a stellar loan spell with them in the recently concluded season.
Illan Meslier recently moved to Leeds United following a stellar loan spell with them in the recently concluded season. (Getty Images)

Why Leeds United should sign Illan Meslier permanently

According to Daily Mirror, Leeds United will seal a £6m permanent deal for on-loan goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

However, they shall do so only if they manage to achieve promotion to the Premier League. Leeds are currently on top of the Championship table and are just one point ahead of second-placed West Bromwich Albion.

Illan Meslier
Illan Meslier of Leeds United applauds the travelling fans following his side’s defeat during the FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal FC and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium on January 06, 2020, in London, England. (Getty Images)

The 20-year-old Meslier arrived on a season-long loan at Elland Road last summer from childhood side FC Lorient. Meslier has impressed during his loan spell at Leeds despite being the second-choice keeper behind main man Kiko Casilla.

Casilla, meanwhile, has been a standout performer and has kept 15 clean sheets in 35 league games. However, his recent suspension has opened the doors for young Meslier.

The French youngster, who came in as a deputy for Casilla has excelled in front of goal, keeping two clean sheets in the two league games that he played for the side.

Kiko Casilla (Getty Images)
Kiko Casilla in action for Leeds United. (Getty Images)

Meslier had earlier won the hearts of Leeds fans during his debut for the Championship outfit in their FA Cup defeat to Arsenal. A fan favourite, Meslier also has the support of the side’s home crowd, some of who have also urged Leeds to sign the goalkeeper permanently.

Meanwhile, there is no denying the youngster’s talent, who has been a regular within the French youth sides since his young days. He has represented France at every level up to the under-20s.

Meslier was also recently called-up by the French under-21 national side last November, however, he is yet to make an appearance for them. Meanwhile, the young Frenchman had impressed the Leeds faithful even before his senior debut after he saved three penalties for their under-23 side.

Illan Meslier
Eric Hottmann (left) of Germany and goalkeeper Illan Meslier of France vie for the ball during the under-18 international friendly match between Germany and France at Ilburg Stadium on March 23, 2018, in Eilenburg, Germany. (Getty Images)

Meslier had earlier caught the attention of Leeds with his standout displays in the French second division for his former side Lorient. In his maiden season with the French side, Meslier stood out, managing 11 clean sheets from 30 matches across all competitions.

With Leeds looking well set to gain promotion, it would be wise of the club to keep hold of him and offer a permanent deal. He is still very young and has plenty of time to improve under Bielsa. Moreover, Meslier has proved over time that he is a talent and letting him go this early would be a foolish act.

Meanwhile, first-choice guardian Casilla will turn 34 this October and Meslier has all the potential to be their next main man. If they wish to excel next season in the Premier League, signing him permanently would the wisest of options for Leeds.

Arsenal's English midfielder Reiss Nelson shoots past Leeds United's French goalkeeper Illan Meslier in the English FA Cup third round football match between two sides at Emirates
Arsenal’s English midfielder Reiss Nelson shoots past Leeds United’s French goalkeeper Illan Meslier in the English FA Cup third round football match between two sides at Emirates. (Getty Images)

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Verdict

By all means, Meslier could be a future replacement for veteran custodian Casilla. With him proving his mettle at a young age, Leeds must do everything they can to keep hold of him than letting him go when his loan spell ends this season.

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