By Noel Whelan

17th Aug, 2021 | 9:30am

Pundit makes bold Meslier claim after news Leeds deal agreed

Noel Whelan claims no one deserves a new contract more than Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

The former Whites hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the stopper is now a top-class player.

On 13th August, it was announced Meslier had signed a new 5-year deal at Elland Road.

He is now contracted to Leeds until 2026.

Last season, the Frenchman enjoyed an outstanding debut Premier League campaign as he kept 11 clean sheets.

This helped Leeds secure a ninth-place finish on their return to the top flight.

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Whelan insists this contract is deserved after the keeper came on leaps and bounds last year.

“I don’t think any other goalkeeper in the country deserves a new contract more than Meslier,” Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

“He just grew into the gloves every time he played. He became a leader and more confident.

“Technically he improved as well, his distribution was better and he got braver.

“He is a top-class goalkeeper, I’m so pleased he’s staying. There were rumours about him leaving.

“That’s natural after such a good season but he loves it at Leeds.

“Bielsa loves him, the coaches love him and there’s no doubt in my mind that he will become the France number one at some point.”

Meslier’s 2021-22 didn’t get off to the best start as he conceded five to Manchester United on the opening day of the new season.

He will have the chance to make amends next weekend when the Whites take on Everton.

In other news, Agbonlahor: O’Brien is ‘pushing’ to join Leeds and they will beat Crystal Palace to ‘big’ signing.