Illan Meslier should not play for Leeds United again this season following their defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday.
That is the view of Ben Foster, who was speaking on his YouTube channel after the 4-1 loss which leaves a question mark over the future of Javi Gracia at Elland Road.
For many Leeds fans, the defeat at the Vitality Stadium was the result that confirms that relegation is looming. The writing has seemingly been on the wall for some time. And it seems a matter of time before Leeds fall into the bottom three.
Gracia is not the main figure responsible for this mess. But he is not blameless either. And one of the truly baffling decisions he has made during his brief tenure is sticking by Illan Meslier.
Foster thinks Meslier shouldn’t play again this season
Meslier is a real talent. That has been apparent for much of his time as number one for Leeds. But what has also been apparent is that his confidence has been on the floor for a little while now.
He has made a number of costly mistakes in recent weeks, probably starting with his lacklustre attempt to beat Marc Guehi to the ball for the equaliser against Crystal Palace.
Two more mistakes came at the weekend. And you do have to wonder how bad it can get before Meslier drops down to the bench with Joel Robles coming in.
Certainly, Foster does not think that Meslier should feature again before the summer.
“Listen, Illan Meslier is a good goalie. He’s proven that over the last couple of years. But this just goes to show that when a goalkeeper’s confidence is rock bottom – and I mean rock bottom, shot to pieces – it doesn’t matter how good a goalie you are,” he told his YouTube channel.
“They’ve got Joel Robles sitting on the bench. He’s a decent goalie. But it doesn’t matter how good a goalie he is, he’ll do a better job than what Meslier will do at the minute because his confidence’s shot to pieces.
“He doesn’t need to play anymore football this season. Just go and train, get behind the goalie that’s going to play and then in the summer, try and forget about it.
“Not this season, no,” he replied when asked if he should play again this year.
If Gracia is in charge against Manchester City, it is hard to see how he cannot make a change. Certainly, he will be asking for trouble if he sticks by Meslier.
And this is not entirely a criticism of Meslier. At this stage, it feels like the kindest thing Gracia can do is to drop Meslier and pick Joel Robles.
And if Gracia does make that change, perhaps there is a chance that Meslier may have already made his final appearance for Leeds.
It is not the way he would have hoped to bid farewell before moving on.