Journalist names Illan Meslier as Leeds’ ‘highest value asset’, with Tottenham plotting swoop

A Leeds Utd reporter has revealed who the club’s most valuable player is after the departures of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips this summer.

Raphinha left Elland Road in July as Barcelona paid around £55m to sign him. The winger signed a five-year contract at Camp Nou and played seven times for the Blaugrana, registering one goal and one assist.

Phillips, meanwhile, left the youth club Leeds for Manchester City. According to Manchester Evening News, City paid £42m for the central midfielder. The deal could reach £45m if certain additional clauses are met.

The exits of Raphinha and Phillips were a blow for Leeds. They had arguably been their two most important players in recent seasons.

However, Jesse Marsch’s side did well to replace the influential duo. They brought in Luis Sinisterra and Brendan Aaronson to replace Raphinha’s attacking threat.

Midfielders Marc Roca and Tyler Adams have also arrived at Leeds, helping to fill the void left by Phillips in midfield. Moreover, Los Blancos snapped up 18-year-old midfielder Darko Gyabi from City in a £5million transfer, which was separate from Phillips’ move.

Phil Hay, who works for Athleticism as Leeds’ resident journalist, believes the goalkeeper Illan Meslier took the place of Raphinha and Phillips in becoming the team’s “most valuable asset”.

He confirmed that several clubs are considering signing the Frenchman in 2023. Among them is Tottenham, who need a successor for veteran Hugo Lloris.

Phil Hay talks about the value of Illan Meslier

On his Phil Hay showthe reporter said: “It’s quite interesting of all the clubs watching Meslier, I think it’s fair to say he’s now replaced Raphinha and Phillips as probably the most valuable asset in the squad. Leeds.

“If the clubs bid for everyone at Elland Road, he would demand the highest fee.

“It’s quite interesting that Spurs are one of the clubs looking at him as Lloris enters his thirties now and is out of contract in 2024 and you would assume Tottenham are now considering a succession plan for him.

“It’s been quite a turbulent time for Meslier, but this season he’s looked better than ever and has been a top-notch keeper.”

Meslier was Leeds’ number one during Marcelo Bielsa’s time at the club and that remains the case under his replacement in management, Jesse Marsch. On August 11, Marsch said his keeper was already “at the highest level”.

Meslier has impressed many scouts since joining the Premier League. Due to Leeds’ attacking style under Bielsa, he had to deal with numerous shots in every game. But he always did well and often kept Leeds in games they would otherwise have been out of contention.

The 22-year-old has continued to shine under Marsch and is also gaining international experience. He has won 10 caps for France U21 so far and could make the senior squad for the Qatar World Cup.

There can be no arguing that Meslier is Leeds’ most valuable asset at the moment. He is already a top keeper with plenty of time to potentially become a world-class keeper.

It’s no surprise Spurs want to sign him, but they’ll have to pay a hefty sum to secure a deal with Leeds.

Meanwhile, Leeds director of football Victor Orta has opened up on his club’s failure to convince PSV to sell Cody Gakpo on transfer deadline day.

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