Exclusive: Brown shares what he's noticed about Meslier ahead of Leeds match today
Michael Brown has revealed he was impressed by Ilan Meslier but claimed Leeds United will miss the distribution of banned goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United midfielder pointed out how the young French goalkeeper, 19, made a strong impression on him during his debut against Arsenal in the FA Cup last month.
But he pointed out that it was telling Marcelo Bielsa did not turn to Meslier even when Casilla had a prolonged slump that delivered a major dent to United’s automatic promotion hopes.
Meslier, who turns 20 on Monday, is set to make his Championship debut for Leeds against Hull City in today’s early kick-off after the FA announced last night that Casilla had been found guilty of racism and has been banned for eight matches with immediate effect.
“Casilla, he’s your sweeper and Leeds have the ball so much he’s a hard man to replace,” Brown told Football Insider.
“Meslier did well against Arsenal, he’s good on the ball as well, but he’s 19-years-old. Bielsa backed his goalkeeper [Casilla] and just stuck with it.
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“When you’re playing that much with the ball, you need someone who’s confident on it. Can Meslier do that straight away? It’s a big test.”
Meslier was signed from Lorient last summer on a season-long loan that Leeds have the option to make permanent at the end of the season.
His only United outing to date was against Arsenal in the FA Cup defeat at Emirates Stadium but he has represented France at Under-20s, Under-19s and Under-18s level and played 30 times for Lorient before his arrival.
Bielsa has also publicly backed the teenager and revealed on Thursday he would start in goal if Casilla was hit with a ban.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the real reason Ian Poveda has been axed from Bielsa’s squad.