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'He did well': Leeds ace lauded for latest display for his country despite defeat

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier shone for his country in their U21 Euro quarter-final on Monday despite defeat.

The 21-year-old has made a big name for himself since arriving at Elland Road from Lorient in 2019.

Meslier initially joined the Whites on loan before signing permanently last summer for a reported £5million.

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He has played 35 of Leeds’ Premier League games this season, missing one due to illness and sitting two out on the bench.

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Meslier linked up with France U21s after the league campaign finished, and started the quarter-final clash against Netherlands U21s.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be for the Whites ace as Les Espoirs were beaten 2-1 by their Dutch counterparts.

France took the lead in Hungary thanks to Ibrahima Konate’s 23rd-minute header.

However, the Dutch equalised early in the second half before going on to turn the game around late on.

Abdou Harroui’s strike deflected to Boadu, who was onside and finished from close range.

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And in injury time, Justin Kluivert crossed for Boadu to guide the ball into the net and put the Oranje in the semi-finals.

However, Meslier can hold his head high after a good display.

“He had the difficult task… to replace the usual goalkeeper Alban Lafont and he did well,” wrote Actufoot.

“The Leeds goalkeeper reassured his defense with his good aerial outings and his good kicking game with, in particular, very little waste.

“Unfortunately he conceded two goals tonight, totally abandoned by his rearguard.”

“Grown so much”

Last month, Marcelo Bielsa told the Leeds media team: “He’s a goalkeeper who has grown throughout the campaign.

“You don’t notice the age he is because he looks a lot more experienced than the age he is.”

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Bielsa entrusting Meslier with the Premier League No. 1 role at the start of the season showed just how much potential he has.

He’s certainly repaid his manager’s faith, and now he’s taken his chance for France’s Under-21s too.

Meslier certainly has a bright future for club and country.

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