Noel Whelan has insisted that Illan Meslier should keep his place in goal for Leeds United, with Kiko Casilla set to return from a lengthy eight-game ban.
In late February, Casilla was found guilty of racially abusing Jonathan Leko following Leeds’ 1-0 defeat to Charlton Athletic in September, and was subsequently given a eight-match ban by the FA.
Since then, young goalkeeper Illan Meslier – a summer arrival on loan from Lorient – has started every game for Leeds, keeping an impressive five clean sheets in eight appearances.
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Meslier produced an excellent performance as Leeds defeated Swansea City by a goal to nil on Sunday, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side moving one step closer towards winning promotion to the Premier League.
The 20-year-old pulled off a fabulous save to deny Conor Gallagher from finding the net, and commanded his area really well indeed as Swansea fired plenty of deliveries into the box.
Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds (12/07, 15:47), Whelan lauded Meslier after another impressive performances, and played down Casilla’s chances of making a return to the side.
When asked if Casilla should return, Whelan simply replied: “Absolutely not”.
Leeds now sit six points clear of third with only three games remaining, following Pablo Hernandez’s late strike in South Wales on Sunday afternoon.
Meslier has been excellent for Leeds since his introduction to the side and he should undeniably keep his place in the team.
I much prefer Meslier to Casilla despite the massive gap in age. He is good with his feet and his distribution is outstanding for such a young goalkeeper.
Given the quality of performances he has produced since starting for Bielsa’s side, it would be so, so unfair to drop him with Casilla now back available