Leeds Exclusive: Noel Whelan delivers extensive Illan Meslier verdict
Noel Whelan was hugely impressed by Illan Meslier on his Championship debut for Leeds United away to Hull City.
The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, admitted although “a little shaky” the 19-year-old should be pleased with his performance.
Meslier kept a clean sheet in what was his first league appearance at the KCOM Stadium with Marcelo Bielsa’s side comfortable victors against an out-of-form Tigers.
Goals from Luke Ayling, Pablo Hernandez and a brace from substitute Tyler Roberts sealed a 4-0 victory and ended a run of six games where Leeds failed to score more than one goal in a match.
When asked for his assessment of the debutant, Whelan told Football Insider: “Fantastic. The lads in front of him protected him really well throughout the game. He did not have a great deal to do so it was not a bad game for him to make his debut and come in after Kiko Casilla.
“The team did a great job of protecting the young boy and that is what he needed on his Championship debut.
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“He started off a little bit shaky in the game with a few passes because his ball distribution is normally very good, we saw that against Arsenal.
“I have got to say when the ball was up in the air he was not shy about coming out and collecting that ball which really took the pressure off the goalmouth. It is a good start for him.”
The teenager was brought into the side following the news that Kiko Casilla would serve an 8 game ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Charlton Athletic winger Jonathan Leko.
Meslier’s only other start for United came in a 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup.
In other Leeds United news, Paul Robinson has told Football Insider which Newcastle player he wanted at Elland Road.