Noel Whelan is delighted that Illan Meslier started over Kiko Casilla in Leeds United’s 1-0 win over Barnsley on Thursday.
Casilla was back available for selection after returning from an eight-match ban given to him in February, after using racist language towards Charlton Athletic loanee Jonathan Leko.
In that time, Illan Meslier has been Leeds’ goalkeeper and has been tremendous since replacing the Spaniard in-between the sticks.
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The 20-year-old kept his sixth clean sheet in his ninth league appearance for Leeds last night, in what was a nervy encounter at Elland Road.
Leeds took the lead through a Michael Sollbauer own-goal in the first-half, but were made to put their backs to the wall as Barnsley threw everything at it in the second-half.
Meslier pulled off great saves to deny Cauley Woodrow and Callum Styles, and speaking to Football Insider, Whelan has spoken of his delight after he started over Casilla.
He said: “He had to stick with Meslier. Meslier was fantastic, everything that he needed to do he did.
“Whenever the corners came in he was brave and got a good punch on the ball. He is not afraid to come over bodies to relieve that pressure.
“I’m glad he did not change a thing. He deserves to keep his place.
“Kiko Casilla is not good enough for the Premier League and after everything that has happened the club need to have a long think. There is still question marks about his ability.”
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are now one point away from promotion, and could even secure a long-awaited return to the Premier League before their clash with Derby County on Sunday should West Brom or Brentford fail to pick up maximum points against Huddersfield and Stoke respectively.
I would have been stunned if Casilla had started over Meslier.
The young Frenchman has been tremendous for Leeds since coming into the team, and he has kept a highly impressive number of clean sheets.
Casilla has been impressive this season, too, but Meslier fully deserves his place in the side.