Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson has urged the Whites to pay the reported £5 million required to sign Illan Meslier permanently, suggesting it is “a great deal” for the club.
The Frenchman arrived on a season-long loan from Ligue 2 side Lorient in the summer as a replacement for back-up keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who left to join Burnley.
After spending much the campaign on the bench, the 20-year-old was called to action in the weeks before the fixture delay due to the suspension of Kiko Casilla.
Meslier has looked up to the challenge so far and, despite a few wobbles, has been hugely impressive – helping Marcelo Bielsa’s men to regain their place on top of the Championship.
It was reported earlier this month that Leeds do have the option to sign the Frenchman permanently but will need to pay £5 million to do so.
Speaking to motleedsnews.com, Robinson has heaped praise on the 20-year-old and urged the Whites to make the signing.
He said: “£5m for Meslier is a great deal for Leeds. Meslier has proved his worth without really setting the world on fire yet.
“He’s kept his clean sheets but he’s looked a bit nervy at times.
“Kiko is out for a while and there has to be some contingency plan behind him because his form has been sketchy.
“Whether Leeds are in the Championship or the Premier League they need a solid keeper in addition to Kiko and the way Meslier has taken the baton it’s his shirt to lose.
“It’s not a lot of money for a young keeper and he will get better, he’ll improve.
“It’s actually an investment because Leeds will easily get their money back and more if they sold him on.”
All EFL games have been suspended until the 30th of April at the earliest and no side will be more desperate for it to return than Leeds, who are closing ending their 16-year absence from the Premier League.
The Whites are top of the Championship as things stand – seven points clear of third-place Fulham with nine games to play.
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Meslier has been very impressive since stepping into the first team and you feel Robinson is right here, this looks a good deal for Leeds.
At just 20, he looks to have all the characteristics you’d look for in a young goalkeeper and will surely only improve as he gets older.
It will be interesting to see whether the Yorkshire club opt to sign Meslier when the season is over.