Illan Meslier signs new long-term Leeds contract

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Meslier impressed last season
Meslier impressed last season / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Leeds United have confirmed that Illan Meslier has signed a new five-year contract, keeping him at the club until 2026. 

Meslier joined Leeds from Lorient in the summer of 2019, initially on loan before signing permanently. Since making his debut against Arsenal in the FA Cup in January 2020 he has displaced Kiko Casilla as the Whites’ number one goalkeeper, making 46 appearances in all competitions so far.

Last season Meslier featured in all but three of Leeds’ Premier League games, keeping 11 clean sheets and breaking Joe Hart’s 14-year record in the process, with eight shutouts prior to his 21st birthday. The Frenchman is set to remain the youngest starting goalkeeper in the Premier League by some margin this season.

He had been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer, but his new contract should ensure he stays at the club for the foreseeable future. He will start in goal in Leeds’ Premier League curtain raiser against rivals Manchester United on Saturday. 

The Whites face a tough task replicating their incredible 2020/21 season this time around. They have conducted some smart business, though. Long-time loanee Jack Harrison, who registered eight goals and eight assists last season, has finally signed on a permanent deal from Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Junior Firpo has arrived from cash-strapped Barcelona and Kristoffer Klaesson has been brought in as cover for Meslier.

Perhaps more importantly, Leeds have also managed to keep hold of all of their key players. Raphinha was linked with a move to Liverpool last season but he is set to continue at Elland Road for the time being.

Marcelo Bielsa's future has also been decided with El Loco penning a one-year contract extension recently. Whether he remains at the club beyond then is doubtful.