Paul Robinson has told Stadium Astro that Leeds United star Illan Meslier should be at the World Cup in Qatar this winter – suggesting he would have been the better option for France’s squad as cover for Tottenham man Hugo Lloris.
Meslier, 22, has been superb for us over the last three seasons. Coming into the side with Kiko Casilla banned, he helped Leeds gain promotion. Since then, and his permanent move, he is our undisputed no.1 between the sticks.
Already, Meslier has played 103 times for Leeds. A regular, and even captaining France’s Under-21 side, he is seen as a long-term target for Lloris. But he is yet to win a senior France cap and was overlooked by Didier Deschamps.
Indeed, Deschamps continues with skipper Lloris in goal. Alphonse Areola, an £8million West Ham signing, and another veteran in Steve Mandanda are Deschamps’ three goalkeepers. Robinson thinks Meslier is better than both of those.
“I look at the two goalkeepers on the bench; Areola and Mandanda,” Robinson said. “Lloris has got no competition in that squad whatsoever. Those two goalkeepers are not good enough to challenge him.
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“For me, Meslier at Leeds should be in that squad. He’s good enough. Areola has hardly played this season, Meslier could come in, he would challenge Lloris as a number one I think,” Robinson continued, to Stadium Astro.
Robinson: Leeds star Meslier should be at the World Cup in Qatar
It is a good argument. Mandanda is now 37 years of age, Lloris is renowned for the odd mistake and Areola has warmed the bench at West Ham this term – playing in the Conference League. Meslier is in good form, and first choice.
Of course, Meslier will go on to win plenty of caps. But it is fair to say that Meslier – branded “phenomenal” by ex-Leeds stopper in Rob Green – is the better option than Areola and Mandanda. He would have pushed Lloris, more so.