Manchester United currently have a handful of players in their squad approaching the latter stages of their careers.
One of those players, who has been a vital figure for the Red Devils and Erik ten Hag this season is David de Gea.
Having racked up more minutes than any other player at United in the league this season, it’s clear that the Spaniard is Ten Hag’s No 1 goalkeeper.
Across his 24 league appearances this season, the 32-year-old, who has been described as “unreal” in the past by journalist Michael Oti Adjei, has saved 65 of the 92 shots on target he’s faced, leaving him with a save percentage of 70.7%, the 11th-highest in the division.
Despite reports suggesting that United are looking to secure De Gea’s future with a new deal at Old Trafford, one player that the club have been linked with over the past few days who we feel would be an ideal long-term heir for the veteran is Illan Meslier.
With 114 appearances for Leeds United to his name, the 22-year-old has managed to keep 29 clean sheets in total.
Similarly to De Gea, Meslier has played every minute of league action for his side this season, saving 69 of the 107 shots on target he’s come up against.
Even though he has a lower save percentage (65.4%) than the United star, the Frenchman has shown in other areas of his game where his strengths are.
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For example, the Leeds figure has a higher percentage of crosses stopped than De Gea (8.9% vs 2.3%) as well as making more defensive actions outside of his penalty area than the Spaniard (48 vs 20).
Described as having “scary” potential by journalist Josh Bunting, Meslier certainly has the talent to play at a top Premier League club in the future and is certainly a player who could further himself by learning from United’s current shot-stopper.
Whether he would take a second-string role remains to be seen, but De Gea won’t be between the sticks at Old Trafford forever, and at 22, Meslier would have plenty of time to assert himself as the heir to the Spaniard.
With all of that in mind, should Leeds find themselves getting relegated from of the Premier League at the end of the season, the Red Devils should definitely look to take advantage and secure a deal for Meslier in the summer transfer window.