Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier is an “amazing” talent who is “one to watch” this season.
That is the view of Leeds expert Michael Brown, who spoke exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs after the Frenchman’s Jekyll-and-Hyde performance against Burnley on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Frenchman’s stature and style of play have drawn comparisons with Thibaut Courtois, but there was a particular moment on Sunday where he did not look at all like a world-class goalkeeper.
Meslier let the ball slip through his hands as he jumped to claim a cross, the ball falling at the feet of Ashley Barnes who thwacked the ball home.
Fortunately for Leeds and for Meslier, the officials deemed that Ben Mee had fouled the goalkeeper as he jumped – and so ruled out Burnley’s goal.
It was a moment that summed up the duality of Meslier, who is capable of moments of both genius and madness.
But Brown is not too concerned by the latter part of the goalkeeper’s game, suggesting that he has enough natural talent to make Bielsa’s continued selection of the former Lorient man worthwhile.
He told Football Insider: “Let me tell you, he’s an amazing goalkeeper.
“A bit of adversity will keep him on his toes. I think he got a bit lucky on Sunday, but he also made great saves.
“I did the game at West Ham and I was asked by a very experienced journalist whether it’s time for him to step aside, to be left out of the side for a little bit because he’s under that little bit of pressure. Leeds fans were asking that question too…
“He came for a cross and didn’t make it. But then all of a sudden he made an outstanding one-handed save and at that point, you say the kid’s still there. He’s fighting, he’s learning.
“He’s one to watch. It’s an amazing story.”
Meslier, who spent last season on loan at Elland Road before joining on a permanent basis in the summer, has made the number 1 spot his own this season, starting all 15 of Leeds Premer League games.
But he might soon face increased competition for the number 1 spot following news that Leeds are pursuing West Bromwich Albion keeper Sam Johnston, as reported in The Sun.