Not Phillips, not Raphinha – Liverpool scouts ‘blown away’ as Klopp eyes Leeds star

Date published: Wednesday 13th October 2021 12:45 - James Marshment

Illan Meslier, Stuart Dallas, Pascal Struijk Leeds v Burnley December 2020

Liverpool are reportedly keeping tabs on a third Leeds United star after it was claimed their scouts have been ‘blown away’ by the player in question.

The Reds have recruited shrewdly in recent years with much of the credit owed to sporting director Michael Edwards. The 41-year-old has been credited with playing a major part in Liverpool’s success over the past few years.

Since his promotion to sporting director in November 2016, he’s masterminded a number of quality signings. Under his stewardship, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk have all signed.

He was also the man who negotiated the gigantic £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool in January 2018.

According to a report, though, Edwards will likely step down and move on at the end of the current season.

Liverpool, however, are expected to replace Edwards with his deputy. And it’s hoped their strategy will continue seamlessly thanks to their army of scouts and data-led experts.

Indeed, Liverpool have been strongly linked with Leeds pair Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha in recent months. The pair are the prized jewels in Marcelo Bielsa’s side and it would take vast sums to prise them away from Elland Road.

Now, as per Football Insider, Liverpool scouts also have another Leeds player very much in their sights. And they report that 21-year-old Leeds keeper Illan Meslier is the man making serious waves with their scouts.

The Leeds keeper was plucked from relative obscurity when signing on an initial loan from Lorient.

However, after replacing Kiko Casilla as Leeds’ No 1, he has not looked back. And after breaking Joe Hart’s record for clean sheets in the Premier League for a 21-year-old, he was rewarded with a new deal.

Now a regular with France Under-21s, Meslier is seen as the as the long-term successor to Hugo Lloris.

As a result, it’s little shock to see the likes of PSG linked with moves.

However, if Football Insider are to be believed, then Liverpool have now joined the plethora of admirers for Meslier.

And while Alisson is firmly established as their No 1, their scouts do line up a succession plan were a parting of ways to occur.

Indeed, his comfort on the ball and range of passing – as well as his goalkeeping abilities – are said to have blown Liverpool away.

As a result, their manager Jurgen Klopp is now being advised to consider a future swoop for the Leeds keeper.


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Meslier happy at Leeds

Meslier himself recently declared his happiness with life at Leeds.

“I am so proud and happy to sign a new deal in Leeds.

“It’s a big club. It’s home, so it felt natural to sign a new deal.”

Furthermore, his agent claims leaving Leeds is not in his thinking right now.

“Paris Saint-Germain are watching, but Illan’s goal is to play. He had his first season in the Premier League,” Yvon Pouliquen, the agent of Meslier spoke to Le Telegramme.

“He needs to confirm. Going to Paris Saint-Germain to take over from Navas in a year or two and not play, what’s the point? His progression will be greater by playing at Leeds.

“He left Lorient to not sit on a bench. At Leeds, he arrived on the bench, but he played a lot of U23 games before becoming a starter in the Championship and in the Premier League. From the off, he was programmed to be the starter in two years. It just happened quicker.”

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