By Pranav Shahaney

23rd Sep, 2022 | 5:49pm

Phil Hay shares update on Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier after France snub

The France setup reportedly want Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier to continue with the Under-21s as they see him as the first-choice for the Euro Under-21 Championships in 2023.

According to Phil Hay, the Whites number one will be eligible to play in the tournament as he was part of the qualifying process.

After that tournament, his chances of being capped for France will increase and he could then knock on the manager’s door.

Hay said on the Phil Hay Show, (5:12) “It’s been spoken about a lot, the idea of him being a future France number one and Leeds certainly think he’s got that potential.

“The message that was sent to him was that ‘You’re coming to England as a French goalkeeper and you can with the scope in the Premier League you can become the French goalkeeper.’

“It must be on the mind of Didier Deschamps [to replace Lloris in the long term] and on the other side of the World Cup, Lloris might want to see how he wants to balance the dual responsibility of international football and club football.

“When he quits, then the question comes in as to who will replace him. The decision to replace him was Alban Lafont who has a similar pathway to Meslier.

“From what I can gather from the French coaching staff is it’s better for Meslier to sit in Under-21s and play at the moment particularly because the European under-21 Championship is coming up next summer.

“That will be the last hurrah for Meslier and after that, you’ll see him knocking on the door more seriously of a France call-up.”

Makes sense

Alban Lafont was called up instead of Meslier but the Nantes keeper has years of experience in Ligue 1 as a number one.

He was ahead of the Leeds goalkeeper in the pecking order and was called up because of that reason by Deschamps.

However, should France have a bad World Cup, there’s a very good chance that they’ll part ways with their head coach and under new leadership, the pecking order changes completely.

Should he be someone who’s been following the Premier League regularly, it would make no sense to pick Alphonse Areola over Meslier.

Not only is the Leeds man younger than the West Ham keeper, he’s the one who’s playing every week while the Hammers stopper is struggling for game time.

Interesting times ahead, but Meslier must keep working hard and focus on impressing at next year’s tournament.

In other Leeds United news, an Elland Road-linked midfielder is now certain to leave his club in the coming weeks as a host of Premier League clubs are vying for his services.