Robin Koch says Leeds have a ‘great’ player in their ranks who's having a brilliant season
Leeds United defender Robin Koch has defendec goalkeeper Illan Meslier in wake of his weekend error.
The Whites centre-back, speaking on BBC’s West Yorkshire Sport Daily, deemed the 22-year-old a “great player”.
Koch also stressed that the Leeds players “don’t need to speak a lot to him” in terms of picking him up.
Meslier has enjoyed a great season for the most part, but he made a costly mistake in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal.
Eddie Nketiah pounced on a heavy touch from Meslier following a back pass from Luke Ayling.
This resulted in the Gunners ace netting the first goal of the game after just five minutes.
Meslier was shaky thereafter, and Nketiah doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 10th minute of the match.
To make things worse, Luke Ayling picked up a red card for a reckless 27th-minute lunge on Gabriel Martinelli.
Leeds managed to get a goal back through Diego Llorente, but it proved just a consolation in the end.
The result saw Jesse Marsch’s side slip into the bottom three.
“Don’t make any stupid mistakes”
Alan Shearer slated Meslier for his error, telling Match of the Day 2, he said: “There’s no harm [in hoofing it].
“Especially in the early part of the game when you know the situation you’re in.
“Don’t put yourself under any pressure, don’t make any stupid mistakes for the first 10-15 minutes and invite pressure onto you.”
But despite Meslier’s error, Koch has stuck up for his young teammate.
“Illan is playing a great season and he’s a great goalkeeper,” he said on West Yorkshire Sport Daily.
“It’s just things happen in football and he’s human.
“Everyone is doing mistakes on the pitch and in life. This is just normal. We don’t need to speak a lot to him.”
Meslier has already clocked up 85 first-team appearances for Leeds, a remarkable tally for such a young keeper.
All keepers will make mistakes at some point, particularly if they’re relatively young and playing for a struggling team.
There’s no doubt Meslier will improve his game and develop into a world-class player in the coming years.
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