Leeds United journalist Joe Donnohue has launched a staunch defence of Leeds United’s Illan Meslier after his performance against Burnley.
There was plenty of controversy surrounding the game at Elland Road, first the decision to award Leeds United a penalty for their opener, and then the decision to rule out a potential Burnley equaliser.
A man highly involved in the latter decision was Meslier. The French goalkeeper fumbled a long ball into the area that allowed Chris Wood to fire home, although the whistle had already gone for a foul on the ‘keeper, when it could be argued that Meslier himself committed a foul on Burnley’s Ben Mee in the process.
But Donnohue, speaking on the Leeds United Live review of the game believes that overall Meslier did very well to overcome all that in such a hostile game against a difficult opposition like Sean Dyche’s men.
He said: “It’s not easy coming up as a goalkeeper against Burnley, because we know what they’re about, we know they are an aerial bombardment team. I think it’s a real test of character for a young goalkeeper to play against them. He wasn’t getting close to a lot of those balls, but it didn’t stop him.
“He made that mistake in the first half, he got away with it – but every single ball that came in in the last 15-20 minutes, Meslier was there.”
Do you think Meslier has been a bargain?
Yes, what a signing
No, he hasn't been that good
However, for the most part, Meslier has done exceptionally well in his adjustments, currently sitting second in terms of saves and punches made by Premier League goalkeepers this season, all whilst maintaining an 85% pass completion rate.
We shouldn’t let a nervy moment like this, or the fact he’s conceded the joint-most goals in the Premier League try and dictate the narrative that perhaps he’s a ‘nervous goalkeeper’. For the roughly €6m (£5.4m) they paid for him, he’s more than proving his worth to the current side, and might go down as one of the better purchases made this summer.