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‘You don’t expect it’: Leeds ace discusses ‘dark horse’ teammate who has surprised him

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Leeds United

‘You don’t expect it’: Leeds ace discusses ‘dark horse’ teammate who has surprised him

Leeds United defender Barry Douglas has spoken highly of Elland Road teammate Illan Meslier, praising the Whites on-loan goalkeeper’s confidence and humour, in conversation with the official Leeds website.

Meslier joined Marcelo Bielsa’s side last summer on loan from French outlet Lorient, the then 19-year-old’s first experience of plying his trade in a foreign country.

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

While such a move could have fazed other youngsters and left them feeling somewhat timid in the dressing room, Meslier has been anything but, with Douglas describing him as a “dark horse” for the title of Leeds’ funniest player.

“You know what, I’m going to give you a dark horse,” the Scottish left-back told the Leeds website.

“Who I think is one of the funniest in the squad is Illan Meslier, just because of his one liners! He’s a great character, he’s so bubbly and everyone took to him straight away.

“He’s a great personality to be around and you don’t expect it, having past experience of playing abroad it can be intimidating, but there is no shyness whatsoever.”


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Meslier’s dressing-room personality, as described by Douglas, is very much in tune with his personality on the pitch, a confident and commanding individual who isn’t fazed by the pressure of keeping goal for a side gunning for promotion.

Thrown in at the deep end by Bielsa with a debut in the FA Cup against Arsenal, Meslier did very well, and has continued to impress for Leeds in his two Championship matches prior to the league’s suspension.

A report from Ouest France last September said Meslier was reportedly open to a permanent move to Leeds, if chances came his way, and given the 20-year-old finally has senior appearances under his belt – not to mention saying “the style Leeds play is perfect for me” – it certainly bodes well for the future.

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