Illan Meslier is turning heads in the Premier League and we think he will be Victor Orta’s biggest bargain signing for Leeds United.
Leeds signed him for just £5m from Lorient in the summer after an initial loan spell.
He won the gloves from Kiko Casilla after the veteran keeper was banned for racist abuse and he hasn’t looked back since.
Alan Shearer was the latest to pour praise on the youngster.
After his performance against Fulham, Shearer said, “Meslier produced two outstanding saves to keep Fulham at bay and lay the foundations for an impressive Leeds victory.”
Meslier was included in his official Premier League Team of the Week.
Meslier has only just turned 21 and just before his birthday at the beginning of March he broke a 14-year Premier League record.
By keeping his eighth clean sheet for the season against Southampton he broke Joe Hart’s record for most clean sheets in a single season for a keeper under the age of 21. [Leeds Live]
Meslier was the hero against Chelsea when he helped keep the score respectable in December.
Illan Meslier vs. Chelsea:
90 mins played
26 successful passes
7 saves 🔥
6 saves from shots inside the box
6/6 successful long passes
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) December 5, 2020
But the save he made in the game against Fulham proves how valuable he is to Leeds.
Goalkeepers should be worth a set number of points per season and, as Shearer said, Meslier helped secure the victory against Fulham.
He made three saves, and the reflex one in the first-half against Maja, was the standout. [WyScout]
The danger came from a corner (surprise, surprise) that Leeds didn’t get clear. Ball-tennis ensured with Meslier getting a punch on the ball.
Eventually, it fell to Maja who swivelled and fired a powerful shot from about eight-yards out.
It looked like a certain goal before Meslier stuck up a strong left hand and managed to stop the ball in its tracks.
Rob Hawthorn on the Sky Sports comms team called it an “extraordinary” save and these stills don’t do justice to either Meslier or the ferocious shot from Maja.
It’s already getting easy to forget that Meslier is only 21-years-old – very young by Premier League standards.
He got a call-up for the France Under-21s this week and with Hugo Lloris at the age of 34, the senior France squad will surely be looking for the next generation to come in and take the gloves soon.
If Meslier keeps on the same trajectory, those gloves are surely his and then his value will really start to soar.
We’re already convinced he’s worth many multiples of the £5m that Leeds picked him up for and it’s another stunning bit of business from Victor Orta.
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