Noel Whelan has claimed Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla “is not good enough for the Premier League”, insisting Illan Meslier deserves to stay between the sticks.
Having completed an eight game ban for racism, the Spanish ‘keeper was available for selection again for yesterday’s clash with Barnsley.
However, Casilla was left on the bench with Meslier continuing in goal for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The Whites won the game 1-0, leaving them needing just one more point to secure promotion. Meslier made a number of crucial saves to ensure of the three points as Barnsley piled pressure on the Leeds goal.
On the back of the performance, Whelan admitted he was glad to see the Frenchman retain his place, while also voicing his concerns over Casilla’s quality capabilities.
Speaking to Footbal Insider, cited on Leeds Live, Whelan said: “He had to stick with Meslier. Meslier was fantastic, everything that he needed to do he did.
“Whenever the corners came in he was brave and got a good punch on the ball. He is not afraid to come over bodies to relieve that pressure.
“I’m glad he did not change a thing. He deserves to keep his place.
“Kiko Casilla is not good enough for the Premier League. After everything that has happened the club need to have a long think. There is still question marks about his ability.”
Casilla played Leeds’ first 35 Championship games of the season, keeping 15 clean sheets. But he has been criticised for making a number of errors that led to goals, and conceded 30 goals overall.
A CAPABLE DEPUTY
Having performed well while on Cup duty for Leeds, Meslier has continued to impress since stepping in for Casilla.
In nine Championship appearances, he has kept six clean sheets and let in only four goals, helping Leeds pick up vital points in their push for promotion. Their Premier League place could be sealed when they take on Derby on Sunday.
With his loan deal set to expire next week, the Whites will be keen to bring Meslier back on a permanent basis. They have an option to purchase the shot stopper for £4.75million, which they reportedly plan to activate.