Date: 12th August 2019 at 8:00am
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EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan has claimed that Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla will be axed from the starting XI against Salford City to hand Illan Meslier his debut for the club.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds hitman and lifelong supporter says that the 19-year-old Frenchman, who was a late loan signing for the Whites from Lorient, has been brought in to act as backup to the Spaniard after the exit of Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The Northern Irish international left for Premier League outfit Burnley in a permanent transfer, with the Whites swooping for 6ft 5in colossus Meslier to take his place.

While Casilla looks to be Bielsa’s first choice between the sticks, playing against Bristol City and Nottingham Forest in the Championship, Whelan is expecting to see Meslier handed his first action on Tuesday in the League Cup against Salford.

He told Football Insider: “It’s a backup, just a backup. Peacock-Farrell has been sold and Casilla is number one, the confidence has been given to him by the manager that he is number one.

“This is just a backup in case of any injuries or suspensions. He’s a promising, young (under-20) international, I’m sure the club have done their homework.

“They don’t generally bring people in unless they have something to work with so he’ll just be waiting in the wings and I’m sure he’ll be given an opportunity in the cup games and in the League Cup away at Salford.” 

Casilla has conceded two goals in his opening two games, firstly in a 3-1 victory over Bristol before he was beaten by a scuffed Lewis Grabban shot in the 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest.

Meslier meanwhile has 30 professional club appearances under his belt from his time at Lorient, impressing in France’s second tier with nine clean sheets.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED by Football Insider that a north west side have made a move to sign a Whites defender.