Danny Mills has backed Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier to follow David de Gea’s lead and transform from “frail looking” youngster into commanding master.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites and England goalkeeper compared the 20-year-old’s current situation to that of the Manchester United great when he first arrived in England.
The Spain international was criticised in his first season at Old Trafford for his slight frame and inability to demand his penalty area when coming from crosses.
Meslier and Leeds have struggled from set-pieces and have conceded 10 goals in the Premier League from corners and free-kicks – a Premier League high.
The Frenchman has also struggled with the ball at his feet with Spurs’ penalty on Saturday coming as a result of a poor pass from Meslier.
But Mills has insisted he will come good for the Yorkshire giants.
“I just think he’s a very young goalkeeper with, realistically, limited experience,” Mills told Football Insider.
“You only get that experience from having the experience. You have to go through it and you start to mature.
“Look at how David de Gea was when he first came to Manchester United. He was this skinny, frail-looking goalkeeper that undoubtedly had fantastic ability but obviously grew and got better and better and better.
“I think that will be the case with Meslier. He likes to come and punch the ball and push the ball away and he will learn more and more often when it’s the right time to do that and when it’s the right time to catch it. He’ll learn that as he gets more and more experience.”