By Darren Bent

26th Oct, 2020 | 5:00pm

Exclusive: Pundit in awe of 'Superb' Leeds player transformed since Liverpool defeat

Darren Bent has heaped praise on young Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier for his transformation since the opening-day defeat to Liverpool.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and England striker said the 20-year-old has been “very impressive” and his performance in Leeds’ 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Friday was “superb”.

The Frenchman has now kept two clean sheets in his first six Premier League games.

Since moving to the Yorkshire giants in January, initially on loan, he has kept nine clean sheets in 16 league games.

However, it is not just his shot-stopping that has impressed Bent but his ability on the ball – something of vital importance to Marcelo Bielsa.

He told Football Insider: “Illan Meslier was absolutely superb against Aston Villa.

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“He’s very impressive.

“The very first game against Liverpool when he was trying to play it out from the back, I saw him kick the ball out of play a couple of times and I questioned it.

“But honestly since then some of the saves he’s been making, how comfortable he has been on the ball even when maybe the one before he hasn’t found his target.

“The way he distributes that football, how commanding he is, the way he plays with his feet, some of the saves he’s been making.

“I think he’s been absolutely superb.

“The save against Ezri Konsa, over the bar, I’m a big fan of his and I’m a big fan of Leeds.”

Meslier was signed from French side Lorient earlier this year to provide competition for Kiko Casilla.

However, after the Spaniard was banned for eight games in February for racially abusing Jonathon Leko, Meslier established himself as Bielsa’s first-choice keeper.

In other news, Noel Whelan has been left wowed by a Leeds United speed machine after his display for the Under-23s.