Signed on loan as cover for Kiko Casilla, no one realistically expected French youngster Illan Meslier to have an effect last season for Leeds United. However, he was more than an able deputy after Casilla found himself banned for 8 games after being found guilty of racially abusing Jonathon Leko.
Leeds United fans had already had a glimpse of the young loanee from Lorient; a town in north-east France and not an area of that there London. He’d appeared at the start of January with an excellent showing in the narrow, 1-0 FA Cup defeat against Arsenal.
That night, Leeds United fans got to see a star in the making. He commanded his box, marshalled his defence and, but for better finishing, could have taken a buffet out for the second half. The amount of chances the Whites had that night in the first half, they should have been at least 5-0 up at the half.
It’s Meslier’s form in the league though that not only convinced Leeds to make his season-long loan a permanent, £5m deal but also earned him a call-up to the France Under-21 side managed by Sylvain Ripoli.
🇫🇷 #LUFC goalkeeper Illan Meslier has been named in Sylvain Ripoll's France U21s squad for next month's Georgia and Azerbaijan fixtures
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 27, 2020
The young Frenchman, with the go-go-Gadget length arms, joins Kalvin Phillips, Tyler Roberts, Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas and Liam McCarron in recent call-ups to international duty. Just goes to prove one thing; Leeds United are a team full of internationals.