Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson hopes that the performance of Illan Meslier does not tempt Marcelo Bielsa into tinkering with his goalkeeping options.
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19-year-old Meslier made his first-team debut for Leeds in their 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Arsenal on Monday, and while the youngster impressed the Whites faithful with his display between the sticks, Robinson believes Kiko Casilla should regain his starting place.
Speaking to MOT Leeds News, Robinson argued that Casilla has been a key component of the team this year and is critical to Bielsa’s philosophy – and should not be under threat from the on-loan Frenchman.
He said: “Casilla has been hugely improved this season and he’s adapted to the Championship. He’s become a key part of the Bielsa system and he’s a really important player.
“Casilla goes back in. 100%. There’s no reason to play Meslier. Casilla has been very good this season and he doesn’t deserve to lose his place.”
As would be expected for a number-two goalkeeper, Bielsa is yet to test backup Meslier in the league with Casilla playing every minute of their Championship campaign so far.
Having played three games in the week preceding their trip to the Emirates Stadium, perhaps it was the combination of the opportunity to rest Casilla and the free hit of an FA Cup tie that Leeds went into as firm underdogs that Bielsa saw fit to give the untried Meslier a run-out.
With Leeds top of the Championship table ahead of its resumption this weekend, it seems unlikely that Bielsa will want to take chances as the Whites remain on course for promotion.
Meanwhile, considering Stuart Dallas was also benched despite starting every Championship game this term, it appears that Casilla’s appearance amongst the substitutes was not even an isolated call from Bielsa.
Therefore, Robinson may just get his wish ahead of their Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, as Leeds revert to Championship action in their pursuit of top-flight football.
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