Leeds United’s good start to the Premier League season has had many pundits raving about the Whites’ attacking intent, but it’s easy to forget that one man who deserves just as much credit as any forward player this season is United’s goalkeeper.
Undoubtedly, his best performance of the season came against Sheffield United where he made two saves from John Lundstram and George Baldock at point-blank range to deny the Blades and eventually earn his team three points.
It’s hard to imagine where Leeds would be without their goalkeeper, and the fact that he cost just £5m this summer, makes his performances that much sweeter.
Marcelo Bielsa’s comments on him last season show just how good he is while also highlighting how much of a bargain he was.
“He is a goalkeeper without weak points and he has been with us from the beginning of the season,” Bielsa said.
Nobody expected a youngster from Ligue 2 to be Premier League ready this quickly, but Meslier is doing the business against the very best sides in the league.
Yes, he conceded eight in his first two games, but with three of those being penalties and others being down to individual errors, such as Liam Cooper’s poor marking of Aleksandar Mitrovic against Fulham, those numbers look far more forgivable.
At just £5m he has a better save percentage than £65m man Alisson, and if you discount the three penalties that have been scored against him, his save percentage goes up to 80%, which is good enough for third-best in the league.
In an age where relegated goalkeepers can cost £18.5m signing Meslier for £5m is one of the biggest bargains we’ve seen this summer, and Leeds can be proud of the fact that they’ve uncovered such a gem from absolutely nowhere.