Illan Meslier - Scouting Analysis
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Illan Stéphane Meslier (born 2 March 2000) is a French professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Leeds United. Meslier began playing football with his local club Merlevenez at the age of 6, and after a successful match against FC Lorient joined their academy. On 1 February 2018, he signed his first professional contract with Lorient. In July 2018, Lorient rejected a €10 million bid from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco for Meslier. On 8 August 2019, Meslier was signed on a season-long loan by English Championship team Leeds United, with Leeds also having the option to buy Meslier on a permanent deal. He started the season as second choice goalkeeper behind Kiko Casilla and competing with Kamil Miazek for a place on the bench, Meslier gained a reputation as a penalty saving expert after saving three separate penalties for Leeds United under-23's by December. 

In January 2020, head coach Marcelo Bielsa announced that Meslier would make his debut on 6 January in Leeds' FA Cup tie against Premier League side Arsenal. With Meslier putting in an impressive performance against the Premier League side in a 1–0 defeat on his debut, he was praised for his distribution and his saves during the match. On 29 February 2020, he made his league debut for Leeds in a 4–0 victory away at Hull City. 

Meslier finished the season as first choice at Leeds after an eight game suspension to fellow goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, with Meslier keeping seven clean sheets in his 10 league games to help Leeds become Champions and win promotion to the Premier League. 

On 23 July 2020, Meslier joined Leeds permanently following their promotion to the Premier League, signing a three-year contract.

As is the norm with modern day goalkeepers, Meslier is very good with the ball at his feet. He can start attacks with his long distribution and also start attacks from the back. He can play a long ball as well as play it short. Some of the times he isn’t afraid to break lines with his passing as well. A good asset to have for any team looking to maintain and retain possession. He is not afraid to close down strikers and also plays the role of the sweeper keeper well. His agility and 

As good as Meslier already is at 21, he is still an unfinished article who needs a lot of refinement to become one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He needs to work on his distribution skills and find a way to develop a better positional sense. With age by his side, we can expect Meslier to become one of the best keepers in the world in a few years and fight for a place as the French number 1.

 

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