We don’t think that Kiko Casilla should ever get the chance to play for Leeds United again.
Not just because of his ban for racism but also because Illan Meslier has stepped up in his absence and shown that the 33-year-old Spaniard is completely replaceable.
On Saturday, 20-year-old Meslier put in what was arguably his best performance in goals for Leeds as he kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over promotion rivals Fulham.
Stats by WyScout show that the on-loan Lorient goalkeeper made five saves to keep the Fulham attack at bay even though they pressed hard for a goal in the opening 45 minutes.
Meslier also impressed with the ball at his feet – something which is important in a goalkeeper for Marcelo Bielsa.
The French ‘keeper completed all 14 of the short passes he attempted and even did well with his long-range passes as they found their intended target 46 per cent of the time.
Leeds have now kept three clean sheets in the five appearances that Meslier has made this season and one of the games in which the Whites conceded was when they were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal in the FA Cup in January.
The young shot-stopper has been nothing but impressive when standing in for Casilla and The Athletic’s Phil Hay has reported that Leeds have an option to sign the loan star permanently at the end of the season.
Meslier is young, getting game-time, fits the mould of a goalkeeper that Bielsa wants and can be snapped up for just £5million. What’s not to like about him?
Casilla has another year left on his contract at Elland Road but the Spanish goalkeeper has been a liability in more ways than one at the club.
Last season, he played a key role in the defeat to Derby in the play-offs and has made a number of mistakes that have led to goals this season.
And then you have the fact that he is currently halfway through serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Jonathan Leko back in August.
He’s not the kind of player we need at Leeds and if Meslier continues the dazzling form he’s in, there’s a good chance Casilla will be told to empty his locker in the summer and have the number one spot officially taken off him.
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