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Former Leeds United talent Oliver Sarkic discusses his Marcelo Bielsa regrets

Leeds United

Former Leeds United talent Oliver Sarkic discusses his Marcelo Bielsa regrets

Leeds United signed the player from Benfica in 2017 but he never made a first-team impact.

Former Leeds United youngster Oliver Sarkic has been discussing his time at the club and his regrets at not getting to work with Marcelo Bielsa in conversation with Walfoot. 

The Montenegrin joined Leeds from Benfica in 2017 with a reputation as a talented creative striker who had a potential future at Elland Road. 

Unfortunately, injuries and change in management severely hampered his development at Thorp Arch. 

As Sarkic explained to Walfoot, he trained just twice with Bielsa but struggled to adapt to the new methods before being loaned out to Spanish side Barakaldo. 

“Everything started very well, I had a good season in U23, a new coach arrived. And then again, I suffered a big injury. Marcelo Bielsa arrived and at that time, at the beginning, it was a question that I would integrate with the first-team, but I was not physically ready yet. 

“I did two training sessions with Bielsa, but he didn’t really know me, I think. I just saw that his methods were very different from what I could know, very strict. He’s a great coach, I really would have liked to work with him.”

It is nice to hear that Sarkic has no hard feelings for Bielsa, as a previous interview with Sport/Voetbal Magazine seemed to suggest some tension regarding the situation. 


After a difficult spell in Spain, Sarkic was allowed to join League One side Burton Albion on a free transfer last summer. 

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 25:  (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

It has proven to be a good move for the player, who has been one of the Brewers’ best players this season. 

The 22-year-old has scored five goals and provided 10 assists this season and confirmed to Walfoot that his move to Burton has been a personal success. 

“I wanted to get out of all these rather extra sporting worries and win my place somewhere by thinking only of football. I arrived at Burton Albion last summer lacking in rhythm, the coach gradually integrated me – 15, 20, 45 minutes and I played 37 games, in the end. 

“It was what I needed. Now, I still have ambition. From Leeds to Burton, it was a step back, yes, but the objective was to take two steps forward afterwards.”

It would be hard to suggest that letting Sarkic go was a mistake by Bielsa. Leeds have been in great form under the Argentine and clearly Sarkic was not a part of those plans. 

Hopefully, he can continue to find his form at the Pirelli Stadium.

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