Ben Parker lauds Illan Meslier after display in Leeds' weekend win
Ben Parker has told the LS11 Podcast that it is crazy how well Illan Meslier is already playing, as the Leeds United goalkeeper continues to break records for the Whites this season.
Meslier was something of an unknown quantity heading into this campaign. He had played in the final part of last season after Kiko Casilla was banned. However, he was rarely tested as Marcelo Bielsa’s side sealed promotion.
So there was plenty of intrigue surrounding how the Frenchman would do in the top flight. And while there have been some shaky moments, there is no question that the 21-year-old has been a revelation at the highest level.
He has improved considerably as the season has gone on. And he has now kept 11 clean sheets – only four goalkeepers in the division have managed more.
He became the youngest stopper in Premier League history to reach double figures for clean sheets in a single season. And he produced his latest superb display on Saturday as Leeds beat Burnley.
The 4-0 scoreline suggests that the Whites dominated. However, the Clarets had two brilliant chances before the visitors put the game to bed.
Thankfully, Meslier produced two colossal saves to keep them at bay. And Parker suggested that it is scary how good he is already proving to be.
“He’s so vital in terms of how we play,” he told LS11.
“He seems to have everything, at the age of 21 as well, which is crazy to think because was that his 11th clean sheet. He keeps breaking record after record after record and he does seem a real down to earth kind of guy as well who wouldn’t get above his station because the performances he’s putting in for such a young age is just crazy.
“Obviously, we’ve never seen it before because he keeps breaking these records.”
It is remarkable how inspired a piece of business signing Meslier has proved to be. And the weekend win perfectly highlighted what a masterstroke it was.
Leeds sold Bailey Peacock-Farrell to Burnley for £3.5 million (via Yorkshire Evening Post). And they swiftly replaced him with Meslier, bringing him in on loan before spending £5 million on making the move permanent a year later (via Yorkshire Evening Post).
Leeds are surely going to show no interest in letting him go anytime soon. But if any side does come calling, they will surely have to be prepared to break the bank.
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