Leeds United got a big fitness boost with the news that Illan Meslier is back in training following his illness, thought to be COVID-related.
Leeds confirmed that with a tweet showing Meslier looking sharp in action at Thorp Arch.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 24, 2021
Bielsa then confirmed the news in his pre-match press conference, but he didn’t go as far as saying he would start.
Bielsa has been a staunch defender of Casilla – who’s on a reported £32k-a-week – and the Spaniard put in a decent performance against Brighton.
However, we really hope that Bielsa doesn’t stick by Casilla tonight.
Meslier, 20, might be far from the finished article but the fans have a lot more trust in him for a reason.
Casilla’s blunders go back to before the play-off semi-final against Derby at the end of Bielsa’s first season, but that was the game that kick-started the backlash from supporters.
That was a real sliding doors moment. Without his mistake, Leeds would undoubtedly have gone onto play Aston Villa in the final of the play-offs and could have been promoted a year earlier.
Casilla’s mistakes are many and well documented, but following the Crawley game, where he was directly to blame for at least one of the goals, former Leeds keeper Nigel Martyn declared that his “confidence is shot“.
Casilla’s every move is played out under the spotlight and he must be one of the few players delighted there are no fans in grounds at the moment.
He did okay against Brighton but to be fair he didn’t have a lot to do.
For us, Meslier is the number one and he must come straight back in today if he’s 100%. Or even 95%.
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