By Craig Scott

30th Apr, 2020 | 9:00am

Exclusive: Pundit tips £4.8m-valued player to take key role at Leeds next season

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…

Paul Robinson has tipped Illan Meslier to clinch the number one goalkeeper spot at Leeds United if he can impress while Kiko Casilla is banned.

Casilla, 33, is currently a quarter of the way through serving an eight-match ban he was hit with by the FA for racially abusing Jonathan Leko back in August.

Meslier, 20, has played in the two matches where Casilla has been suspended and has managed to keep two clean sheets in wins over Hull and Huddersfield.

The French goalkeeper is currently on loan at Elland Road with L’Equipe reporting last month that Leeds are inclined to trigger a permanent option for around £4.8million.

Ex-Leeds goalkeeper Robinson has been critical of Casilla’s form before his ban and if the Whites win promotion to the Premier League then he believes that they may need to sign a new shot-stopper.

However if Meslier manages to impress for the rest of the season than Robinson says that the 20-year-old could snatch the number one shirt.

“His form before his ban was inconsistent and going into the Premier League, you need stability and you need experience,” the Sky Sports pundit told MOT Leeds News.

“He’s a top-class goalkeeper but they need someone who can challenge Casilla for the number one shirt – a number one who is capable of playing every week. I think it’s something they will look to address.

“Meslier’s done okay since he’s come in. He’s got between now and until the end of the season – if and when that should be – to stake his claim because Kiko’s form was inconsistent before the ban and if Meslier does well, the gloves are his.”

From what we have seen from Meslier so far, there is a good indication that he may be Leeds’ first-choice goalkeeper for some time.

Casilla is 33, has not been in great form, will enter the final year of his contract in the summer and, of course, is currently banned for racism so things do not look too great for the Spaniard.

With Meslier, he is young, available for a decent fee, has been in good form and is backed by Robinson to shine.

If Leeds win promotion and Casilla stays, we expect Meslier to take the number one spot with Casilla dropping down the pecking order permanently.

In other Leeds United news, Jim White has shared what a Premier League insider has told him about the Government’s stance on restarting the season.