Bielsa confirms return of Leeds favourite as he discusses January transfers

Date published: Monday 25th January 2021 10:32 - James Marshment

Illan Meslier and Ezgjan Alioski

Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed the availability once again of goalkeeper Illan Meslier for Leeds United’s trip to face Newcastle at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.

The towering French goalkeeper was absent last time out against Brighton due to what was described as an “illness”.

While Kiko Casilla did no wrong in his place, Meslier looks set to play for the first time since the January 2 defeat at Tottenham.

“Meslier has resolved his health issues,” Bielsa confirmed ahead of the game.

Leeds, however, do remain without defenders Robin Koch and Gaetano Berardi, with both still on the comeback trail.

However, Bielsa did give hope to those hoping Berardi soon returns from the ACL injury he sustained at Derby in July.

The Leeds boss indicated that the Swiss would soon rejoin the group in full training, with a February return his target.

“Berardi will start to train with us shortly, with the group. And whilst he had a serious knee injury which kept him out for a long time, many players have had this in the past and come back to play.

“The problem with [Adam] Forshaw is a little longer he hasn’t played for over a year now. And a medical decision taken recently admit us to think he will play again in the not too distant future. Forshaw is a professional who looks after his health very much, that’s why I think that as soon as his injury problems are resolved he will be able to compete very quickly.

“And with regards to Berardi his combined with that of Koch, Llorente, Cooper and Phillips and we have managed to resolve this. And Forshaw’s one although it has been longer we have managed to resolve with Klich, Philips, Shackleton and Pascal.”

The Yorkshiremen have the chance to complete a first league double over Newcastle since 1976. Last month’s 5-2 win at Elland Road was one of Leeds’ better displays this season and Bielsa will be hoping for a repeat.

While refusing to name his team, Bielsa’s tone suggested Meslier would return in goal.


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Bielsa rules out January signings

With just a week left in the transfer window, Leeds have so far kept their powder dry.

And with their defensive issues clearing up, Bielsa has suggested it’s unlikely Leeds will sign anyone before the month is out.

“No it’s not contemplated that we are going to bring anyone in,” Bielsa added. “I am happy with the squad that we have, I am comfortable with it and I feel we can finish this season with these players.”

READ MORE: Leeds urged to move for pacy nine-goal striker to help struggling Bamford

 

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