By Craig Scott

8th Oct, 2023 | 4:04pm

How is Illan Meslier still the number-one goalkeeper at Leeds United?

It was noticeable on Saturday (7 October) that the 23-year-old needs to be left out of the starting line-up for an extended period because Leeds have a far better option waiting in the wings to start in Karl Darlow.

Stats by WhoScored show that Meslier failed to make a single save when Leeds beat Bristol City 2-1 at Elland Road despite facing nine shots in total with two of them being on target.

The only thing he really did was claim one cross into the box but as you can see in the video clip below, that Leeds published on their official Twitter account, the Frenchman still cannot be trusted when balls are being flung into the box.

Bristol City’s corner was fizzed into the box and went just over a crowd of heads.

Once the ball arrived at Meslier – he crouched down.

It’s weird that he’d do that. He’s a tall goalkeeper who should be a massive presence in the penalty area and dominating at set-pieces.

However, he just doesn’t do that – he hardly ever has.

You could excuse Meslier earlier in his career at Leeds because you could say that he was young. But he’s 23 now and has 137 appearances in his time with the Whites, with over 100 of them coming in the Premier League.

Sure, Meslier’s kept five clean sheets in 11 Championship appearances this season but that’s largely down to the players in front of him with Pascal Struijk, Joe Rodon and Ethan Ampadu doing terrific jobs in the centre of the pitch.

As seen in that video clip above, it was Sam Bryam who was sparing the goalkeeper’s blushes against the Robins at Elland Road this weekend.

Meslier hasn’t improved the way that many expected him to and now is the time for Daniel Farke to make the overdue change of dropping him for Darlow.

The 33-year-old joined Leeds from Newcastle in the summer but he’s been left as an unused substitute in all 11 Championship matches this term.

He has over 150 appearances at this level, 111 appearances with Nottingham Forest and 100 appearances with Newcastle and stayed fairly steady across most of those.

After this international break is over, it’s time for a big change by Farke and drop a player who many expected to leave in the summer but couldn’t find a move away because he’s not actually as good as people first think.

In other Leeds United news, Daniel Farke has explained his surprising player decision in his win over Bristol City.