Manchester United may be set to undergo a major goalkeeping change in the coming months, with David De Gea’s contract expiring at the end of the current campaign.
There has been no word yet of any extension for the Spaniard, who has been at United since 2011, although he does seem confident a new deal will be secured.
What is the latest news on Man Utd’s interest in Illan Meslier?
Whatever happens, it’s clear Erik ten Hag is on the lookout for another goalkeeper, and the Old Trafford side were linked with Leeds United player Illan Meslier back in December ahead of a potential move this year.
Journalist Pete O Rourke spoke to Football FanCast recently regarding the Frenchman and believes he could offer something different to that of De Gea, saying:
“Yeah, he’s got different qualities maybe from David De Gea, better with the ball at his feet, maybe better at starting attacks from playing out from the back as well.
“Still a young goalkeeper as well, relatively, when you look at his age, so he offers huge potential for development.
“But even at his age, he’s got a couple of good seasons now under his belt in the Premier League as well so that could only help him.”
Could Meslier replace David de Gea at Old Trafford?
The 22-year-old titan could certainly be a viable replacement for the United keeper, having played in the top flight for the previous 18 months and he’s still to hit his peak years.
He does have three years left on his current deal however and is said to be worth around £50m according to The Athletic’s ever-reliable journalist Phil Hay, meaning he certainly won’t come cheap for Ten Hag as he aims to continue his rebuild of the club.
It may just be worth it, however.
Last season, Meslier made the most saves (143) in the Premier League to help maintain the Whites’ status in the top flight, and with a better defence ahead of him at Old Trafford, he shouldn’t need to be called into action as often.
The youngster has received a Sofascore rating of 6.87/10 across 23 league matches this term, saving three shots per match at a success rate of 64%, while also completing 0.8 successful runouts per match, thus proving to be a reliable source of consistency across most goalkeeping facets.
He has averaged 37.2 touches per game, slightly more than De Gea (35.2), backing up O’Rourke’s claim that the Leeds star is perhaps better on the ball and capable of building attacks from the back.
Ten Hag is going to need a new goalkeeper sooner rather than later, regardless if the 32-year-old signs a new deal at United, and Meslier could be ideal for the club, especially with his limitless potential and the fact he fits the profile wanted by the Dutchman.
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