David Moyes should urge West Ham United to sign Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier as the London Stadium natives line up potential Lukasz Fabianski replacements.
According to Football Insider, Irons scouts are keeping tabs on Meslier’s situation at Elland Road with a view to launching a summer swoop for the 21-year-old shot-stopper.
Fabianski, who turns 36 in April, is currently due to become a free agent at the end of the season, with his current £65,000-per-week terms set to expire in June.
The Poland international has held talks with the east London outfit over a new deal, but is yet to reach an agreement to extend his time in claret and blue into a fourth campaign, per Football Insider.
West Ham are confident of retaining Fabianski beyond the current term due to a one-year option included in the deal struck upon his £7m arrival from Swansea City in 2018, but are keen to carry out due diligence by weighing up potential replacements.
Meslier has been identified as a top talent who can develop into an ‘outstanding’ option between the sticks, having impressed the Hammers’ talent spotters with his efforts for Leeds since turning an initial season-long loan into a permanent move for £5m last summer.
The Lorient product has started 25 of Leeds’ 26 Premier League games since the west Yorkshire outfit were promoted to the top flight last year, keeping eight clean sheets – including against Everton during the Whites’ 1-0 win at Goodison Park in November.
West Ham have also been linked with Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale and Bologna FC 1909’s Lukasz Skorupski as potential options to replace Fabianski should he leave the London Stadium.
West Ham moving to sign Meslier from Leeds could see Moyes and David Sullivan acquire a long-term number one for the Irons, as the France under-21 international has shown a great deal of promise during his first year in the Premier League.
Only West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone has made more saves (107) than Meslier (99) in the top flight this term, while the Leeds star’s performances have been at such a level that the £10.8m-rated ace boasts SofaScore’s fifth-best average rating for a goalkeeper at 7.04.
Fabianski, who has made 69 saves – the 16th-most, has averaged a 6.85 rating and has made one-third of the number of successful runs out (3) as Meslier (9) has to date, per SofaScore.
Despite being labelled as a “raw” shot-stopper by former England goalkeeper David James on Sky Sports’ The Football Show (8/1) earlier this season, via Yorkshire Evening Post, Meslier has also been lauded by Ben Foster for his performances behind a Leeds backline which ensures he stays busy.
“I’ve watched a few games of him this season and he doesn’t strike you as a big strong kind of goalie, does he?” Foster said on Sky Sports (13/2, 09:35, via HITC). “He looks sort of skinny and sort of fragile. But honestly, he is flying, some of the saves he’s been making. World-class saves, proper world-class saves.
“His first season in the Premier League as well, he’s been on fire. Leeds, as well with their style of play, he’s going to have stuff to do and he’s going to be busy. He’s pulled out the saves and he’s kept a few clean sheets as well.”
Meslier’s stock will only be expected to continue to rise all the while he excels at Elland Road, so if Moyes wants the £20,000-a-week colossus at the London Stadium, West Ham will have to swoop for his services this summer regardless of Fabianski’s immediate future.