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Marcelo Bielsa says one Leeds player has 'grown' so much as a footballer this season

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has waxed lyrical about Illan Meslier following his clean sheet in Saturday’s Premier League victory.

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

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

(Photo by Tim Keeton – Pool/Getty Images)

The Frenchman has become the Premier League’s youngest first-choice goalkeeper and has played 35 of Leeds’ league games this season, missing just one due to illness.

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Meslier has had the odd bit of criticism over the course of the season but is finishing the campaign strongly, and was in inspired form as Burnley were beaten 4-0 at Turf Moor.

The 6ft 5in ace looked assured for most of the game and made numerous big saves, catches and punches, with one standout save to deny Matej Vydra while at 1-0.

Speaking after the game, 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, and he’s certainly repaid his manager’s faith.

The Whites look set for a top-half finish this season, and next term, it’ll be exciting to see how Meslier and the rest of the team perform with a year’s top flight experience under their belts.

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