This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has moved quickly to bring in a goalkeeper, following Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s departure to Burnley, with Illan Meslier of Lorient signing on a season-long loan deal for the Whites, as confirmed by the club.
Meslier, 19, is a French U20 international who made 28 appearances in Ligue 2 for Lorient last season and was first-choice keeper for France at the U20 FIFA World Cup.
So is Meslier a good signing for the Whites? Is he adequate back-up for Kiko Casilla?
“It’ll be interesting to see how it works out.
“He’s a good young goalkeeper but it’s a gamble given that Leeds are a big step up from Lorient with all due respect.
“I’m a bit surprised we haven’t seen more praise come the way of Will Huffer and I thought he might be in with a shout of being number 2 but this appears to be the way the Whites want to go.
“It’s a big gamble if Kiko goes off the boil given the ages involved so let’s see what happens.”
“It is a good signing in that they need a keeper, but I would have thought they’d learnt their lesson with keepers from abroad.
“Felix Wiedwald was not a success and I’m not sure it’s easy to bring in a keeper from Europe and have him settle quickly. After all, what if there is a language barrier between him and the defence? What if he struggles to settle in England?
“I understand Meslier is a decent keeper and if he does settle then he could be a big asset to the club, but for me there are just too many variables.
“Surely, there are better keepers available in England?”
“This is a decent signing for Leeds.
“Meslier is a promising young goalkeeper and kept nine clean sheets in Ligue 2 for Lorient last season.
“Leeds needed another shot-stopper, with Bailey Peacock-Farrell having just left to join Burnley, so it was a sensible decision for Marcelo Bielsa to bring one in before the transfer deadline.
“It’s likely that Kiko Casilla will remain the first-choice goalkeeper at Elland Road this season, but Meslier could be a decent back-up option.
“If he’s able to impress Bielsa in training he may even get a chance in the first-team ahead of Casilla.
“I think Leeds fans may have been hoping for somebody with a little more experience, but Meslier could be a shrewd signing and bringing him in on loan makes more sense from a financial perspective.”