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Newcastle: Eddie Howe interested in Illan Meslier

Newcastle United are interested in a deal to bring Illan Meslier to St. James’ Park in the January transfer window.

What’s the talk?

Transfer Focus

That’s according to Fabrice Hawkins, with the RMC Sport journalist revealing in a recent post on Twitter that, following the Leeds United goalkeeper’s impressive start to the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, Eddie Howe is now considering a move for the 22-year-old this winter.

However, the Magpies are not the only club thought to be keeping an eye on the France U21 international, with the French reporter going on to reveal that Bayern Munich, Chelsea and a number of further unnamed English sides are also keen on the Whites’ shot-stopper.

In his tweet, Hawkins said: “After his good start to the season, Illan Meslier is of interest to several clubs. Bayern Munich looking for a replacement for Manuel Neuer (injured until the end of the season). Newcastle. Other English clubs including Chelsea are keeping tabs on him.”

“The best”

Considering just how exciting a talent Meslier has undoubtedly proven himself to be during his time at Leeds, the argument that the 22-year-old would be an unreal signing for Howe to bring into the club this month is an extremely easy one to make.

Indeed, the £31m-rated shot-stopper seriously impressed over his first two seasons in the Premier League, making an average of 4.0 and 3.8 saves per game in 20/21 and 21/22 respectively – the second-most and most of any ‘keeper each season – as well as averaging Sofascore match ratings of 7.13 and 6.87 – ranking him as Leeds’ third-best and sixth-best performer in each respective campaign.

It has been a similar story over the £30k-per-week starlet’s 17 top-flight outings in the current campaign, with Meslier having kept three clean sheets and made an average of 3.2 saves – the joint fifth-most in the league – per game, as well as being successful with an average of 0.7 runs out – at a success rate of 92% – per match.

These returns have seen the youngster who journalist Graham Smyth dubbed “unreal” average an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 6.88, currently ranking the Frenchman as Jesse Marsch’s seventh-best performer in the league.

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Rather understandably, these performances have seen Meslier earn a significant amount of praise, with journalist Will Jackson labelling the 22-year-old “immense” and Alan Hardy stating his belief that “Meslier is right up there with Alisson and Ederson as the best in PL“.

As such, while it would likely take a hefty sum in order to convince Leeds to part with the shot-stopper this winter – with Phil Hay suggesting that the Whites will demand a figure in the region of £50m – considering just how much potential Meslier undoubtedly possesses, spending this much on the former FC Lorient gem would still appear an extremely wise investment for Newcastle.