Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has hailed Illan Meslier, tipping him to play in the biggest games in club football in the future.
The 21-year-old is proving to be a hugely successful signing for the Whites, having joined permanently from Lorient last summer, initially shining on loan during 2019/20.
Meslier played his part in Marcelo Bielsa’s side being promoted to the Premier League last season and has started 30 of his team’s 31 top-flight matches this time around.
Kenny heaps praise on Meslier
Someone who knows a thing or two about what makes a good ‘keeper is Kenny, who enjoyed a long and successful career, having spells with Leeds and Sheffield United, among numerous others.
Speaking to Football Insider, the ex-Whites man hailed Meslier’s quality, claiming he will end up playing in the latter stages of the Champions League one day:
“I remember watching him against Sheffield United and he made some of the best saves I’ve seen all season at 0-0. The potential is there.
“He’s one who could get to that level of playing Champions League semi-finals and finals in the future.
“To be playing Premier League standard at that age is impressive. I didn’t turn pro until I was 20 and they’re playing Premier League standard at that age. I didn’t even have a goalie coach until I was 25.
“I got to where I got through natural ability. I wouldn’t have been linked with PSG though. More likely GHD now my hair’s gone curly.”
Transfer Tavern take
For Meslier to already be such a key man in the Premier League at 21, especially for a ‘keeper, says so much about his long-term potential.
He has been a vital player ever since becoming first-choice between the sticks under Bielsa – he is second in the top flight in saves behind only Sam Johnstone – and he should only get better as he matures with age.
The hope is of course that Leeds continue to build so much as a team that Meslier is playing for them in the Champions League in the future, not a giant like PSG as Kenny suggests.
In other news, Leeds have been linked with a move for one Premier League star – find out who it is here.
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