Who is FC Lorient goalkeeper Illan Meslier? Leeds United's loanee profiled
Leeds United have landed FC Lorient goalkeeper Illan Meslier on a season-long loan deal - but what do you need to know about the stopper?
Name: Illan Meslier
From: Lorient, France
Current club: FC Lorient (Ligue 2)
What you need to know...
Illan Meslier is a highly-rated 19-year-old goalkeeper who makes the switch from with Ligue 2 outfit FC Lorient.
The stopper has graduated through the French sides academy ranks, making his senior debut for the first team last August.
Meslier has been subject of interest from Ligue 1 team Monaco and Premier League side Chelsea in recent months but opted to remain with Lorient in a bid to gain experience.
He made 32 appearances in all competitions after becoming first choice at the Stade du Moustoir last summer, keeping 11 clean sheets in the process.
“Honestly, I was ready to be the number two, to play the cup matches," Meslier told Goal last year.
"But everything accelerated for me and I profited from playing Grenoble, Metz, Beziers and Paris.
“I decided to stay in Lorient to play professionally as soon as possible. I always want to aim higher. The goal is to get into Ligue 1, to play all the games during a season. If we stay in Ligue 2, I might change plans, but for now, I’m here, I’m still working, I’m going to progress and that’s most important.”
Meslier has also represented France at youth level, with Under-17s Lionel Rouxel stating: “He’s no longer in a discovery stage of his career.
“He’s participated in high-level games. He still has details to improve on his positioning and his communication, but he’s doing well and I hope he’s going to be a good goalkeeper for the national team.”
Goal journalist Benjamin Quarez believes Meslier is a top prospect, but lost his place at FC Lorient thanks to the arrival of a new boss who wanted a more senior man between the sticks.
"He's one of the best young goalkeepers in France," said Quarez.
"He played a lot of games last season with Mickaël Landreau, but he is young and the new coach in Lorient, Christophe Pélissier wanted a number one with more experience.
"So Lorient signed [26-year-old] Paul Nardi from Monaco.
"Last summer, Monaco wanted Meslier and made an offer [€10m] which was refused by Lorient.
"For me, Meslier has a lot of qualities. He is tall, good on his line, but he must progress further. And for that he need to play."