By Alan Hutton

4th Aug, 2021 | 12:00pm

Hutton: Leeds have 'seen enough' of Klaesson and he will be a true Meslier rival

Alan Hutton has backed Kristoffer Klaesson to push Illan Meslier for a Leeds United starting spot next season.

The former Aston Villa defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites would not have signed the 20-year-old without knowing he could take the job on.

As confirmed on Saturday (July 31st), Klaesson has signed a four-year deal to complete his move from Valerenga.

The Norway under-21 international replaces Kiko Casilla at Elland Road following the Spaniard’s loan move to Elche.

Meslier, 21, is firmly established as Marcelo Bielsa’s number one goalkeeper.

Hutton admitted signing a young shot-stopper could be something of a gamble.

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However, he suggested Klaesson would be able to handle himself.

“I always like the experienced players within the squad,” Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Sometimes a number two can be better when he is experienced.

But they’ve obviously seen enough to know that he can handle himself and is capable of coming into the team when asked.

“You wouldn’t sign a player if you didn’t think he was capable of taking the job on. It’s a situation where they needed someone in. They’ve got someone so young.

“That’s a surprise in a way, but maybe that’s a good thing because he knows he’s not going to start every game. He knows he’s going to be back up, he’ll obviously have to push Meslier.

“Ultimately he will be backup so I’m sure it suits both parties.”

Meslier played in all but three of Leeds’ Premier League games last season.

Meanwhile, Klaesson played 57 times for Valerenga’s senior side after breaking through the youth system.

In other news, Leeds United have a “huge” advantage over rivals after Liam Cooper reveal.