Danny Mills has warned Leeds United they need to keep improving if they want to keep hold of goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites and England defender delivered his verdict after the Frenchman became the first keeper under the age of 21 to record eight clean sheets in a Premier League season.
Meslier reached the feat against Southampton last week after Leeds’ 3-0 win at Elland Road.
He beat the previous record of seven set by Spurs goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 2006/07 season when he was at Manchester City.
Asked whether Meslier has the potential to be a mainstay in the Leeds team for years to come, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “Definitely.
“A young keeper comes in and does well, you’re hoping he’s going to stay for some time, that’s why you tie him down to new contracts.
“You hope he’s going to improve over time, learn with experience and become more experienced.
“That’s always the aim. But if you get too good and the team doesn’t quite match up to that players dip out.
“Other teams want players and maybe somebody better comes along. Football evolves, football is very transient in this day and age and people move around.
“You can do your best to try and tie people down to long-term deals but the best players end up at the best clubs so if you want the best players you better make sure you’re one of the best clubs.”
Meslier played just 10 Championship games last season after he was handed an opportunity when Kiko Casilla was handed an eight-game ban for racially abusing Charlton Athletic’s Jonathan Leko.
He kept seven clean sheets in that time and now has 15 in 36 games for the Yorkshire giants across all competitions.