Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has praised Illan Meslier on his Championship debut in an interview with Football Insider following his impressive showing against Hull City.
Meslier replaced the suspended Kiko Casilla for the clash who will miss eight games as he was found guilty of racist allegations made by Charlton Athletic loanee Jonathan Leko.
Whelan believes that although he was a “little shaky” at times, he should be pleased with his first outing in the league where he kept a clean sheet against the Tigers.
When asked for his opinion on Meslier’s performance, Whelan said: “Fantastic. The lads in front of him protected him really well throughout the game. He did not have a great deal to do so it was not a bad game for him to make his debut and come in after Kiko Casilla.”
“The team did a great job of protecting the young boy and that is what he needed on his Championship debut.”
“He started off a little bit shaky in the game with a few passes because his ball distribution is normally very good, we saw that against Arsenal.”
“I have got to say when the ball was up in the air he was not shy about coming out and collecting that ball which really took the pressure off the goalmouth. It is a good start for him.”
The French keeper had only previously played in the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal but despite the high-pressure situation, he flourished against Hull although there are tougher tests on the horizon for the youngster.
Leeds beat Hull 4-0 as they continued their good recent form and now trail league leaders West Bromwich Albion by just one point.