Illan Meslier has been called up to represent his country’s Under-21 side at the European Championships this month – with France opening their group stage campaign in just seven days. Now, a report from France’s L’Equipe newspaper claims that the Leeds United goalkeeper will not only be in the squad – but the impressive Frenchman will be first choice for France’s 21’s.
Meslier, 21, has enjoyed a stellar campaign. While he did not play the last two matches for Leeds – Marcelo Bielsa choosing to give game time to Kiko Casilla – Meslier can be immensely proud with his work this season. The ex-Lorient goalkeeper, who cost just £5million, has broken Premier League records – topping the clean-sheet charts for goalkeepers under 21.
He broke Joe Hart’s record of seven clean sheets before he turned 21, nabbing his eighth just days before his birthday. He did not stop there, though. Meslier than became the youngest goalkeeper in Premier League history to boast 10 clean sheets to his name – and he has been rewarded with a place in France’s Under-21 side, despite not winning a 21’s cap.
He has caps for the Under-20 and Under-19 sides but never as high as this level, and while there were some calls for the senior side – he will start in goal for the 21’s. That is according to L’Equipe, who claim he has overtaken Montpellier’s Dimitry Bertaud and Fiorentina’s Albin Lafont – who is on loan at Nantes – to start. They face Netherlands next Monday.