Leeds United fans will be thrilled with Andrea Radrizzani after seeing the Peacocks thrive at the start of the new season.
Securing Marcelo Bielsa to lead the charge for promotion at Elland Road was a masterful coup, with the former Athletic Bilbao and Marseille boss enjoying a lightning-quick start to life in English football.
With Leeds established as the early pacesetters in the Championship promotion charge, many have realised that a long-awaited return to the Premier League could be on the horizon – as the club approaches it’s 15th year since the 2004 relegation.
After a turbulent period before Radrizzani’s reign in Yorkshire, and a tough campaign last season, concerns about Leeds were understandable but comments from the Italian have revealed just how dedicated he is to his role and have outlined his plans for the future.
In an in-depth interview with Gazzetta Dello Sport, Radrizzani remarkably revealed he held talks with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, Leicester City’s title-winning hero Claudio Ranieri and World Cup semi-finalist Roberto Martinez about taking charge at Elland Road.
It is easy to sit there and identify dream names you would love to have at the club but Radrizzani’s comments, along with the fact that Leeds managed to lure Bielsa to the Championship, suggest that there was a distinct possibility of a move for one of the three aforementioned managerial giants.
Radrizzani, it must be stressed, made it clear that he is thrilled with Bielsa and was ‘charged’ by Victor Orta’s statement that bringing the Argentine to the club was unfortunately impossible – which of course proved to be incorrect.
The most interesting comment from Radrizzani’s lengthy interview though does not relate to the past pushes for managerial candidates or for transfer targets but instead sees him discuss the future – and when he could walk away from the club.
“England is the top, I want the Premier League in 3-4 years, otherwise I could seriously think about the return [to Italy].”
Suggestions of an exit later down the line will surely be the quotes that the tabloids jump upon and will leave fans to be concerned but there is actually a positive spin to the situation, which shows Radrizzani has a plan and is not just throwing money around in pursuit of a dream.
Ever since relegation in 2004, Leeds have strived for long-term stability and Radrizzani has the same goal for the club. Even if in four years time the Peacocks are not back in the Premier League and the Italian departs, the Yorkshire giants would certainly be in a much stronger position than they have been in recent years.