Agbonlahor: I like sometimes 'awful' Meslier & Bielsa must not axe him from Leeds XI
Gabriel Agbonlahor has claimed Illan Meslier perfectly sums up the unpredictable nature of Marcelo Bielsa’s kamikaze Leeds United team.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider the ex-Aston Villa striker urged Bielsa not to axe the goalkeeper following his error-strewn display in Sunday’s 4-2 defeat.
Meslier gave away a penalty after dwelling on the ball in his area for Arsenal’s second goal and was beaten at his near post by Hector Bellerin for the Gunners’ third.
The Frenchman has shown glimpses of real ability since superseding Kiko Casilla as Leeds No.1 this season but has also been guilty of several high-profile errors.
Agbonlahor explains that mistakes are a natural part of any young goalkeeper’s game but that his form is typical of Leeds’ erratic performances this season.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “I do like him but he sums up how Leeds are as a team at the moment. He has some great games and he has some awful games. That’s been the case with the whole team all season.
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“The more games he plays in the Premier League, the more he’ll adjust to it. He’ll know now that you haven’t got time to dwell on the ball and try and take on players in your own penalty area.
“But he’ll learn from those mistakes, and as a young goalkeeper, you do learn.
“I hope the manager gives him time and doesn’t drop him.
“Even the Bellerin goal where it goes in at the near post, he’ll learn from all of it. I’m sure he’ll be a great keeper in time.”
Meslier signed permanently for Leeds at the start of season after spending the previous campaign on loan from Lorient.
His Leeds side have conceded 42 times this season — only 19th-placed West Brom have let in more.