By David Woods

3rd Oct, 2020 | 10:07am

'Stunning' – Leeds chief hails Victor Orta and scouting team for unearthing brilliant youngster

Leeds United chief Angus Kinnear has heaped praise on 20-year-old goalkeeper Illan Meslier and paid credit to Victor Orta and his youth scouting system for finding him.

Kinnear was writing in his programme notes ahead of the game against Man City at Elland Road.

Meslier is expected to start and is now the solid number one at the club.

Meslier won the gloves from Kiko Casilla after the veteran was banned last season for racist abuse and has already proved himself a real bargain after Leeds signed him for £5m.

Kinnear wrote, “The performance of Illan Meslier was also worthy of note, with a string of stunning saves complementing his excellent distribution which has become the foundation of so many of our attacks.

“Illan’s composure makes it easy to forget he is only 20 and goes down as another huge credit to Victor and his youth scouting team.”

Meslier a star in the making 

Meslier has been a revelation for Leeds and was simply superb against Sheffield United last week.

His saves, the best from John Lundstram, helped secure the three points and Leeds’ first clean sheet of the season.

His shot-stopping skills and superb distribution make him a brilliant all-round keeper and he was called up for the France Under-21 side last week.

His performance against Sheffield United was so good that BBC pundit Garth Crooks put him in his Premier League team of the week and said, “I haven’t seen a Leeds keeper with this sort of promise since I first watched a young Mervyn Day 40 years ago.”

Kinnear also deserves a shoutout for his excellent Bamford gag. Kinnear ribbed the striker’s reputation for being posh by saying that Bamford had more than just his winning goal to celebrate last week as “his annual partridge shoot had been exempted from the latest round of Covid-19 restrictions.”

Well played Angus, well played.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Athletic has been told’: Phil Hay says Pep has done something unusual ahead of Leeds v Man City