Gonzalo Jara has told AS that he chose against working with Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa when the Argentine manager was in charge of Marseille – and now he regrets it.
The 33-year-old right-back was set to leave Nottingham Forest on a free transfer five years ago. He has the choice of joining Marseille and Bielsa, or moving to the German Bundesliga with Mainz.
He managed just 18 months at Mainz, clocking up only 27 appearances in all competitions. He has since returned to South America, firstly with Chilean side Universidad de Chile and then Argentina with Estudiantes.
The 112-time Chile international told AS that he regrets choosing not to play under Bielsa, who is renowned throughout world football as one of the most inventive managers out there.
“If you ask me about a decision I would change, it is that. In England I had found my best level and had a family security,” Jara said.
“Bielsa wanted to take me to Marseille, but I opted for the Mainz offer. In Germany it was difficult for me to adapt, my children went back and I returned one year later.”
TBR’s view – an option for Leeds?
Jara is the perfect Bielsa player. His versatility is one of his best attributes. Bielsa prefers a smaller squad full of players that can play in multiple positions.
Jara, who spent four years on the books at West Brom between 2009 and 2013, can play anywhere in defence and even in holding midfield. That ability to play four separate positions would make him ideal for Bielsa.
So, should Leeds move? Well, Jara is now 33 years of age and that goes against his normal style of having faith in youth. Perhaps a good squad player, but one that Bielsa is likely to avoid.