Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has gushed over the development of Illan Meslier’s new contract at Elland Road.
The Lowdown: Meslier excels for Leeds
Numerous players have shone during the Marcelo Bielsa era at Elland Road and Meslier is undoubtedly one of those, having arrived permanently from Lorient last summer.
The 21-year-old has been a hugely influential performer between the sticks for Leeds, making 47 appearances and looking mature beyond his years, whether it be through his distribution or shot-stopping.
The Latest: Whelan makes key claim
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan, who actually now works for the club as a community ambassador, claimed Meslier will eventually become France’s No.1, hailing the new deal he recently signed:
“I don’t think any other goalkeeper in the country deserves a new contract more than Meslier. He just grew into the gloves every time he played. He became a leader and more confident.
“Technically he improved as well, his distribution was better and he got braver. He is a top-class goalkeeper, I’m so pleased he’s staying. There were rumours about him leaving.
“That’s natural after such a good season but he loves it at Leeds. Bielsa loves him, the coaches love him and there’s no doubt in my mind that he will become the France number one at some point.”
The Verdict: Huge player moving forward
Meslier has an enormous future ahead of him and the hope is that he remains at Leeds for as long as possible, helping Bielsa’s side continue to be a force at the highest level.
There is sure to be interest in the youngster over time, however, at which point the Whites may have to accept that he wants a fresh challenge at a club challenging for more trophies.
For now, though, he is one of the first names on the team-sheet at Elland Road and it is hard to see that changing any time soon.
In other news, another Premier League club have reportedly made contact with a Leeds transfer target. Read more here.
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