By Noel Whelan

11th Aug, 2021 | 5:00pm

Whelan salutes Leeds star Meslier after Chelsea offer rejected

Illan Meslier deserves huge credit for rejecting Chelsea early in his career and joining Leeds United at the perfect time.

So says Leeds ambassador Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 21-year-old French goalkeeper.

Meslier told the Athletic‘s Phil Hay on 5th August that he turned down the chance to sign for Chelsea in the summer of 2018.

The then-Lorient man signed for Leeds on loan the following August and made the deal permanent after the 2019-20 campaign.

Whelan insists that the youngster made the right call in waiting for the opportunity to join a club where he would get regular football.

“It shows he’s got a good, strong character,” he told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

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“He’s all about the football. I always say there is no point going to a club and sitting on the bench, it’s not what you want to do.

“You need to establish yourself first and foremost. You can’t do that by playing for the under-23s and going out on loan.

“Sometimes you’ve got to make a strong decision. We have sold the club to him properly and done our part. And he’s certainly done his part.

“He’s been given that opportunity and taken it with both hands. He looks like a magnificent young player.

“He was fantastic last season, never looked out of place and I’m sure he’s only going to get better.

“He will be aspiring to get an international cap sooner rather than later. That will happen.”

In other news, major update on Leeds United bid to sign EFL sensation after talks this week.