Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier is not taking part in this international break this month for France, and it has been suggested that he ought to leave if he wants to stand a chance of a senior call-up.
Leeds stopper Illan Meslier is enjoying his football once again for the club after a very tough period earlier in 2023 that resulted in Sam Allardyce dropping him for the final four games of the season.
He’s back in the starting lineup this season under Daniel Farke and performing much better, with the joint-most clean sheets in the Championship so far this season.
Why wasn’t he called up for France?
At 23, Meslier has more top-flight experience than virtually every goalkeeper his age, but it has yet to see him earn a call-up into France’s senior setup.
He has featured previously for the under-21s, but is no longer part of the group now coached by Thierry Henry, and it begs the question of what he needs to do to get in the France setup.
According to L’Equipe, a transfer away from Leeds might be required for him be in with a chance, away from the Championship:
“Overtaken in the hierarchy of Hopes by Chevalier during the last Euro in the category, Illan Meslier, also pre-selected for this autumn gathering, had to follow Leeds in the Championship (English D2) this season.
“At 23 years old, his high-level experience is considerable (nearly 200 pro matches), but he too will have to find a competitive framework, more related to the level in the French team, to have a chance.”
Where will Leeds finish in 23/24?
Not a good idea for Meslier
The report is spot on that Meslier’s only chance of getting in the France squad is through a move away to a top-flight club and better performances.
However, that would not be the smartest ploy for the 23-year-old at this stage in his career, as he finally looks like getting closer to his best form for us.
There’s a long way to go before he can consider himself in the running for that spot, and jumping ship from Elland Road won’t help him.
Earning his way into the national team should come alongside him earning his way back to the Premier League with Leeds.