Christophe Lollichon, a former Chelsea goalkeeping coach, revealed that he wanted to recruit Illan Meslier when the keeper was at FC Lorient.
The frenchman was the Blues goalkeeping coach between 2007 and 2016, and was the club’s goalkeeping scout until last summer. He appeared as a guest on After Foot, highlighting Meslier as a potential successor to Hugo Lloris after his international retirement.
Lollichon had high praise for the Leeds United keeper in the interview:
“I really appreciate the qualities of Mike Maignan, because if he is appreciated in Italy it is precisely because he is a different goalkeeper from the others,” he said.
“And there you have around Mike Maignan, boys like Brice Samba as example. Or Illan Meslier. It’s been almost three years since he started in the Premier League. He’s not far from being my future number 1 with the Blues, he has so many qualities.
“I discovered this kid with Regis Le Bris, when he was reserve coach at Lorient. I followed him for two years, I wanted to bring him to Chelsea.
“I even began discussions with the management about him. I remember the first game I saw him play for the reserves, and in front of me, I saw a central defender. He has an extraordinary left foot.”
Meslier eventually joined Leeds United on a loan in 2019, before becoming a permanent addition at Elland Road for a reported £5million. The Frenchman has gone on to make over a 100 appearances for the club.