In safe hands with Leeds United

Illan Meslier has won two games, kept two clean sheets, been promoted to the Premier League, won a league title and signed a three-year deal at Leeds United, all in the space of seven days.

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier: New deal. Picture: PA
Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier: New deal. Picture: PA

It has been the week from heaven for the 20-year-old, whose loan deal has become permanent. Leeds have shelled out a fee in the region of £5m for Meslier, for whom the past few days have been a dream come true.

“It’s a fantastic week,” he said.

“We are champions, we are in the Premier League, it’s unbelievable for the club, for the city, the supporters. It’s amazing. We are happy to get promoted to the Premier League.”

Meslier revealed his intention to sign for Leeds earlier this week in an interview with Ouest France, having experienced his first taste of Elland Road celebrations over the weekend.

He’s keen to help generate more of the same.

“It was a fantastic celebration,” he said. “I want to win other trophies to celebrate with the supporters. I hope for next time my family will be with me.”

The stopper joined Leeds on loan from French second-tier side Lorient last summer and got his chance in the first team when Kiko Casilla served an eight-game ban over a racism charge.

He started 10 of the final 11 games of the season and kept seven clean sheets, conceding just four goals and experiencing defeat only once.

Casilla’s Elland Road future remains in doubt, but Meslier cannot yet say if he will be the Whites’ number one next season.

He’s excited for Premier League football all the same and believes he’s ready, if called upon.

“Next season we will play against the best players in the world, the best teams maybe, in the best league in the world,” he said. “I can’t wait to play. I don’t know if I’ll be number one, maybe, maybe not. I’ll give 100 per cent and I’m ready to start if I can.”

Meanwhile, Graham Potter expects Ben White to develop into a “top player” and is convinced the defender is ready to make the step up to the Premier League at Brighton.

Asked if White is ready for top-flight action, Potter replied: “Absolutely, 100 per cent.”

He continued: “He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us. I have known Ben for a while. I know about his qualities. He’s a fantastic player. He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion – that’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him – but he’s our player and we’re looking forward to working with him.”