Noel Whelan hails Meslier performance vs Tottenham
BBC pundit Noel Whelan has hailed the performance of Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier in his side’s 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road on Saturday.
The Leeds stopper made two important saves from inside the box to restrict Spurs to just one goal on the day.
He marshalled the defence exceptionally and also looked assured in possession when the team was building from the back.
After a rather shaky start to life in the Premier League, the Frenchman has found his footing and looks like one of the division’s better goalkeepers.
At 21, he’s got a sky-high potential, and Whelan only expects him to improve with each passing game.
He told BBC Radio Leeds, “He was excellent again. Meslier, for me, just gets better and better and better. And the fact that he wasn’t really involved in the game that much, like Lloris was, he was always there when needed, and alert.
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“And that’s from crosses and set-pieces as well, and he just seems to be getting more and more confident in commanding that 18-yard box and six-yard box area.”
Safe hands Meslier
Marcelo Bielsa deserves a world of credit for sticking with the player after he made some glaring errors at the start of the season.
The Argentine realised that the keeper was low on confidence and did everything he could to ensure that he regained his form, and now you can see what a player we’ve got on our hands.
He’s an exceptionally skillful goalkeeper, both with his hands and feet. In the game against Spurs, he outshined his compatriot and France number one Hugo Lloris who spoke to him after the full-time whistle, possibly to offer a word of congratulations.
In fact, Tony Cascarino has tipped Meslier to take over the reins from Lloris in the future. In his column in The Times, he wrote, “Few players in the Premier League have a more demanding job than Illan Meslier.
“Aged just 21, the Leeds United goalkeeper has had to master Marcelo Bielsa’s high-octane style of play which requires him to think quickly with his feet under pressure.
“As he continues to grow and develop his upper body strength, he will become an even more fearsome physical presence in the box. I think [we] are looking at the future No 1 for the French national team.”
We certainly think that within a few years, he should be the number one for France and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on the plane as a reserve keeper for the FIFA World Cup next year.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Definitely leaving’ – Pundit claims ‘Brilliant’ Leeds ace will move this summer