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Illan Meslier underlines Bielsa influence behind Leeds United switch

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New Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier has suggested that Marcelo Bielsa and his playing style was a “strong factor” in his decision to join the club.

The 19-year-old has joined on a season-long loan from Ligue 2 side Lorient in a deal that reportedly includes an option to buy.

Meslier looks set to serve as the back up for Kiko Casilla this season after the departure of Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

After sealing his move, the Frenchman sent a message via the Whites official Twitter account.

Meslier said: “I’m extremely happy to join a big club like Leeds United.

“Marcelo (Bielsa) is a huge name in France, and his style of play was a strong factor for me.”

After making his debut in August 2018, the teenager made 30 appearances for Lorient last season–keeping 11 clean sheets.

The 19-year-old has also been capped at both the under-18 and under-19 level for the French national side.

Meslier could be included in the squad for the Championship clash with Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on Saturday, subject to international clearance.

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The Verdict

Meslier’s addition is an interesting one, I suspected that Leeds may look to bring in an experienced goalkeeper as their back up but it seems they’ve gone the other way.

The option to buy reportedly included in the deal suggests that they may see the 19-year-old as a long-term option.

Bielsa is a globally-revered manager and it is no surprise to see Meslier name check the Argentine coach as a key factor in his move to the club.

That is the advantage that a club has gained by bringing in a high-profile manager like Bielsa and it appears that the 63-year-old may also have played a role in the signing of Eddie Nketiah, which is reportedly close.


Bristol-born, London-based sports journalist at Snack Media. University of Brighton and NA graduate

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Illan Meslier underlines Bielsa influence behind Leeds United switch

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