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Leeds: Victor Orta must avoid Illan Meslier disaster

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier is attracting increasing transfer interest.

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That’s according to Phil Hay’s latest report for The Athletic, in which the journalist revealed that, following reports of Manchester United’s interest in the 22-year-old this summer, Tottenham Hotspur are also a club keeping tabs on the goalkeeper ahead of launching a potential move for the France U21 international at some point further down the line.

Hay also discussed Spurs’ interest in the shot-stopper on a recent episode of The Phil Hay Show, in which he stated:

“It’s quite interesting that Spurs are one of the clubs looking at him as Lloris is getting into his mid-30s now and he is out of contract in 2024. You would assume that Tottenham would now be looking at a succession plan for him. Pretty eventful time for Meslier but this season he has looked better than he ever has and has been a top-class goalkeeper.”

Orta must avoid disaster

It is no surprise that Hay revealed in his article that Victor Orta and Leeds consider the £5m signing of Meslier to be one of their best moves in the transfer market in recent years, however, should the Spaniard cash in on the 22-year-old for his reported £25m asking price, it would undoubtedly be a disaster for the director of football.

While it is true that the Frenchman’s record of 140 goals conceded over 79 Premier League appearances – an average of 1.8 per game – does not make for overly pleasant reading on paper, without the former FC Lorient starlet between the Whites sticks over the last two years, Leeds’ goals against column would almost certainly be a great deal worse.

Indeed, over his three top-flight campaigns in England thus far, the £22k-per-week talent made an average of 4.0 saves per game – at a success rate of 73% – in 2020/21, 3.8 saves per game – at a success rate of 64% – in 2021/22 and had made 2.8 saves per game this season, ranking him second, first and 13th of Premier League goalkeepers over the last three campaigns respectively.

Furthermore, according to SofaScore, the player who Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth dubbed “unreal” has also ranked as the Whites’ fourth-best, sixth-best and eighth-best player over the last three seasons – proving how important Meslier already is within Jesse Marsch’s senior squad.

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Further still, considering the fact that the goalkeeper boasts a current market valuation of £45m, it goes without saying that selling the 22-year-old for a reported figure of £20m less than his actual worth would be incredibly poor business by Orta and his transfer team – despite the astonishing markup this would still represent on his original £5m cost.

As such, while the Spaniard very much struck gold when bringing Meslier to Elland Road two years ago, he must now avoid a disaster on the French sensation – as, if the shot-stopper were to leave LS11 at the end of the 2022/23 campaign, the Whites should be expecting to receive a figure well above the £50m mark.