Phil Hay has revealed that people out in France don’t expect Leeds United’s Illan Meslier to go to the World Cup.
The French shot-stopper has come in for high praise over the last few days after his heroics at Anfield which saw him play a major role in Leeds picking up a memorable and potentially unlikely three points.
Meslier has recently been linked with a move away from Leeds with Tottenham Hotspur said to be very keen on the young keeper as a long-term replacement for Hugo Lloris, who he likely looks up to given the French connection they’ll have.
Despite Meslier’s form for Leeds, hay has claimed on The Phil Hay Show that people in France don’t expect Meslier to go to the Qatar World Cup.
(14:00) “I wrote a piece about Meslier and the France squad probably about a month ago, or a month and a half ago now, and from talking to people in France and various people who know Meslier, the impression they were getting was that the ideal scenario for France was he stuck with the Under 21s and played in the Under 21 Championships next summer, before graduating up to the senior squad.
Do you want Meslier to go to the World Cup?
“Clearly, Hugo Lloris at Spurs will be the first choice if he’s fit in Qatar, but he’s not going to go on forever, he’s starting to get into his late 30s now and there will come a point at which he retries.”
TIF Thoughts on Meslier…
While people close to Meslier may not have expected him to go to the World Cup, the injury sustained by Mike Maignan, who’s usually in the French squads, may have meant a spot opened up for the Leeds shot-stopper.
However, it does appear to be quite sensible from the French national team to keep Meslier with the Under 21s where he will be both comfortable and playing regular football, instead of just warming the bench for a couple of weeks out in Asia.
Given how often Meslier has been called into action this season having faced 57 shots on target, he’s managed to make 39 saves which is the fifth most in the entire league, he clearly does have a future within the French set-up at first team level, it’s just a matter of how quickly he’s progressed into it.