By Mark Smith

28th Oct, 2020 | 8:10pm

'He's a steal' - Nigel Martyn awestruck by Leeds ace since permanent move

Nigel Martyn has been blown away by Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier this season, claiming he was a “steal” for the Whites.

Leeds signed the 20-year-old for only £5million after his loan spell, and he has since cemented his spot between the sticks at Elland Road.

The Frenchman continues to pick up plaudits for his performances, and he kept his second clean sheet of the season against Aston Villa.

Martyn claimed that Leeds have unearthed a gem in Meslier, who is proving his worth in every department this season.

“He’s a steal, he looks good business, I like his temperament,” he told TBR Football.

“He has a really calm head. He outwardly projects that he is in control of what is going on and that is a great sign. Given that he is so young, there could be mistakes around the corner – hopefully not. If that does happen, I hope they stick with him.

“He is showing confidence with his feet and he is not frightened to play 30, 40-yard passes which is something I couldn’t have done in my time. He’s had a great start and long may it continue.”

It says a lot that Meslier is keeping out a keeper with the experience of Kiko Casilla, but he shouldn’t feature for the Whites again regardless after his racism ban.

Meslier can do it all, just as Martyn said. Marcelo Bielsa demands his players to be comfortable in possession, and the keeper has similar ability to a midfield when on the ball – something that helps Leeds significantly.

The youngster has faced 29 shots this season, nine of those have gone in and 20 of those have been saved according to WyScout.

Meslier has also completed 96.6% of his short passes too, proving that he has the class needed for Leeds and the good news? He is only going to get better and better.

In other Leeds United news, Jermaine Beckford predicts Whites clash v Leicester City

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