Danny Mills believes that Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier has been given special attention in training this week ahead of a potential promotion to the starting XI.
The former Leeds and England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the 19-year-old will have been in the spotlight at Thorp Arch with the hearing over Kiko Casilla’s racism charge taking place this week.
Speaking at his press conference, Bielsa gave the Lorient loanee his full backing to take the Spaniard’s place in the side if a suspension is dealt out by the FA, insisting he has been hugely impressed with his performances in training.
— Graham Smyth (@GrahamSmyth) February 20, 2020
With Meslier second in line to the former Real Madrid man, Mills insists that the promising shot-stopper will have been putting in the hours behind-the-scenes to make sure he is prepared in case he is called upon.
Asked if Bielsa would be putting the teenager through extra work this week, Mills told Football Insider: “Oh definitely. Bielsa’s already come out on record to say the kid’s ready.
“He’s ready to step up, simple as that. He will have been fully aware at some point this was looming and he knows full well if there is a ban, he plays.
“He will be ready every single week, he will be working as hard as possible, just waiting for his opportunity to go: ‘I’m ready to play if you need me.’ That’s the role of a backup keeper.”
Meslier’s one and only appearance for Leeds came in the 1-0 defeat to Premier League side Arsenal in the FA Cup, the youngster impressing onlookers with his confident performance.
Kiko Casilla has played in every single other game for Bielsa this season, although Saturday’s clean sheet against Bristol City was his first shutout since the start of December.
In other Leeds United news, Michael Brown has had his say as the club are ready to sell a Bielsa signing.