Exciting statement made as cornerstone of Bielsa’s Leeds pens new deal

Date published: Friday 13th August 2021 10:52 - Jonny Whitfield

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

Leeds United have announced that goalkeeper Illan Meslier has signed a new contract, extending his ties with the club to 2026.

The Frenchman’s new deal – which was mooted on Thursday – arrives following a fantastic rise since moving to Elland Road. He initially signed on loan, in support of Kiko Casilla. However, after Casilla’s ban, Meslier got his chance on the big stage. He did not disappoint, though, helping round off Leeds’ promotion-winning campaign.

As a result, Leeds made that loan move a permanent one and Meslier has progressed again in the Premier League.

Indeed, he broke Joe Hart’s record for the number of clean sheets before his 21st birthday. He had registered eight shutouts before that landmark.

Leeds announced the deal on their official website, but speaking via The Athletic, Meslier offered his excitement at his extension.

He said: “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.”

Meslier will again prove crucial if Leeds are to improve upon their ninth-placed Premier League finish from last season.

Boss Marcelo Bielsa has ambitions to go higher after earning plaudits across the top flight for his style of play.

Overall, Meslier has kept 18 clean sheets in 46 games for Leeds.

The goalkeeper’s extension follows that of Bielsa, who announced a new one-year deal – as is his usual – on Thursday.

Meslier follows Bielsa, Leeds extension

Marcelo Bielsa during Leeds friendly against Ajax August 2021

He told a press conference: “From my point of view this is an extraordinary club.

“It’s not often you have a club who designates so much volume of investment to the improvement of the training. In this sense, Leeds have made a significant contribution economically for the tools for a manager to prepare his players to be the ideal ones.

“Everything that we need in this area, the club has resolved it with a very high investment.

“Whether that be the pitches, the facilities, the technology, commodities for the work of the players and in this sense, I am very astounded by the conduct of the club.

“I think the most important coaches that world football has would value what this club means in terms of organisation, structure and the public.”


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