'Phenomenal' - Rob Green blown away by Leeds United player who drives Bielsa 'bananas'

Former Leeds United goalkeeper Rob Green has lavished praise on current Elland Road number one Illan Meslier.

By Jason Jones
Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 8:00 am
Illan Meslier of Leeds United. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Illan Meslier of Leeds United. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The Frenchman has been a standout performer for the Whites this season, and has shone in his debut season in the Premier League despite only turning 21 last week.

As part of his role in Marcelo Bielsa’s side, Meslier is expected to be able to play out from the back with confidence on a regular basis, and speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of Monday night’s 2-0 defeat against West Ham, Green lauded the youngster for his ability on the ball.

He said: “It’s tough for him.

"You get exposed so much as a goalkeeper playing for that side. Confidence and playing out is a bare minimum.

"His ability on the ball is up there with the best for his range of passing.

"The demands that have been put on him by Bielsa – it is expected of him to play out from the back. When he goes for the safe option, something I did too many times in my career and just boot it, he goes bananas at him.

"He is expected to play out from the back, and he does it. His touch is brilliant. Time and time again his first touch is impeccable and it allows him to play.

"It’s phenomenal.”

As well as being astute with his feet, Meslier has also excelled in his shot-stopping this season.

The keeper has kept eight clean sheets for Bielsa’s team so far in the Premier League, and passed a century of saves for the campaign against the Hammers.