Jesse Marsch has told his pre-match press conference before Leeds United take on Aston Villa on Friday that Illan Meslier has improved dramatically and suggested that his potential is absolutely massive.

Meslier has looked to be back to his best this season. The Frenchman has been the number one for most of his time at Elland Road, getting his chance after Kiko Casilla was banned towards the end of our promotion-winning season.

Marsch Meslier
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

He was excellent in Leeds’ first year back in the Premier League. However, his second season was much more of a struggle – as it was for many of his teammates.

Marsch amazed by progress of Illan Meslier

Thankfully, the 22-year-old has looked a lot more like his old self this term. And he has been absolutely superb for the Whites, producing some outstanding saves along the way.

Marsch Meslier
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

It certainly appears that Meslier’s development is moving in the right direction again. And when asked about his improvement, Marsch suggested that he is absolutely delighted with what he has seen from the goalkeeper.

“Illan, for me, has made major progress. I’ve challenged him to be more of a well-rounded goalkeeper that can read the game in all moments. So I’ve sometimes called it the quarterback of the team when he has the ball in his possession and then almost sometimes like a last defender and how he manages these situations,” he said.

“And so, we’ve tried to expand his comfort zone from everything from a leadership perspective, to a last defender perspective, to a decision-making perspective. And I’ve think we’ve seen a lot of growth in that, and at the same time, seen his ability to make saves and make big plays to help us manage results.

“So I like Illan a lot. I think his potential is massive, really massive. I think he may be one of our most high potential players. And he knows I like him and, at the same time, he knows I’m going to challenge him in all ways to continue to try to grow.”

Bodes well if Leeds keep goalkeeper for next few years

Meslier has definitely stepped up in a big way this season. Leeds’ defensive issues have largely continued. But the goalkeeper has made a number of crucial saves along the way.

It is exactly what Leeds have needed. There is enough talent in Marsch’s defensive options to drag the side out of danger. But it is about fitting the right pieces together.

Meslier would obviously prefer to be quieter. But his big performances do sometimes give Leeds some breathing space.

Certainly, it does appear that his future is going to be spent higher up the Premier League table. So it will definitely be a very positive sign if he remains at the club in the next few years as Leeds look to elevate themselves out of their current predicament.

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