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Noel Whelan lauds Leeds’s Illan Meslier; comments on Kiko Casilla return

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Leeds United

Noel Whelan lauds Leeds’s Illan Meslier; comments on Kiko Casilla return

Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds (broadcast on 12/7; 15:47) that he was impressed by Illan Meslier’s display in Leeds United’s win over Swansea City on Sunday, before he was asked whether Marcelo Bielsa should bring Kiko Casilla back into the side following the end of his eight-match ban.

Meslier has been superb since coming into the team back in February. He went into the game against Swansea having kept four clean sheets in seven Championship appearances.

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And he managed to make it five in eight as Leeds picked up a huge victory at the Liberty Stadium. The Frenchman was not given too much to do, but Whelan insisted that Meslier continues to do everything asked of him.

“Lot of difficult positions in corners and set-pieces he had to deal with. Obviously, the shot from Gallagher as well. Again, he did not have too much to do. But everything that did come in his way and he had to deal with, he dealt with very well,” he told BBC Radio Leeds (12/7; 15:47).

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Bielsa now faces an interesting decision ahead of Thursday’s clash with Barnsley. Casilla will be available after serving his ban.

The Spaniard has spent the large majority of his time at Leeds as first-choice. And it seems unlikely that Meslier would have been called upon in the league this season were it not for his ban.

But Whelan issued an emphatic two-word response when asked whether Meslier should be taken back out of the team against the Tykes.


“Absolutely not,” Whelan replied about the idea of leaving Meslier out.

Casilla obviously provides more experience. But Meslier has done very little wrong since coming into the side.

Bielsa seems reluctant to make changes to his lineup unless he is forced to. And thus, it would surely be no surprise to see Meslier keep his place.

The youngster has surely done all he can to ensure that he stays in the side.

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