I don’t think there is a more fitting phrase to describe this man other than ‘flavour of the month’.
With plenty of talk surrounding Kiko Casilla being charged a few months ago and when exactly his suspension is likely to come down if found guilty, combined with his debut for the club in the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal on Monday night, French goalkeeper Illan Meslier is spending a few days in the spotlight.
However, he hasn’t found the jump to English football all that difficult. And by the sounds of it, it looks as if there wasn’t a better landing spot for him to make the jump to English football than Elland Road. Speaking to the club website following the game, Meslier spoke about how although there was an initial setback in terms of the result on his debut, there isn’t a better place for him to learn his trade than at Leeds United.
“It was unbelievable! I couldn’t be happier to start for such a great club like Leeds United. Then to make my debut against Arsenal, a good Premier League team, was a very proud moment for me personally. It’s different to how we play in France, in that it’s more box-to-box, more intense and more physical, but the style Leeds play is perfect for me. The way they allow me to play with the team and build from the back, I love it.”
It was a great start, and the reaction of the fans afterwards will tell you that, but the problem with it is, what comes next?
Whilst he is likely to get some more minutes when and if Casilla does get charged, that is still only a temporary thing, we need to start looking long-term. It’s important to note that he is only with us on loan, so beyond this summer he could not be with us.
Do we need to sign a goalkeeper, or can Meslier deputise for Casilla?
Sign a goalkeeper
Give Meslier a chance
So we need to give him a reason to stay, and this is something I’ve been calling for more or less since he signed. If he really is the future for this team, then we should look to make that transition as soon as possible, and that might mean getting rid of Casilla along the way.