Since taking over at Leeds United, Marcelo Bielsa has been known for his faith in youth with plenty of the club’s Under-23 side being trusted with a go in the senior side. But have the Whites made an error this week?
On Thursday, Under-23 captain Hugo Diaz announced that he will be leaving Elland Road this summer, posting a heartfelt message to fans and thanking the Yorkshire club for the chance to play for badge.
The Spaniard has been excellent for Carlos Corberan’s Under-23 side during 2018-19, as the second string won the Professional Development League North. Alongside the likes of Pascal Struijk and Aapo Halme, he starred.
However, Leeds have opted against keeping the Spanish ace even though he broke into the senior side and made a first-team appearance under Paul Heckingbottom last season.
— Hugo Díaz Rodríguez (@hugodiazrg) June 20, 2019
Leeds are lacking in options at centre-back. Only Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson act as the club’s first-team options. Halme and Struijk are around the senior side, while Kalvin Phillips and Gaetano Berardi have played there.
Judged on Diaz’s performances for the Under-23 side, he would surely be Bielsa’s next best option if Cooper or Jansson were unavailable. Halme is not as comfortable on the ball, while Struijk is only just getting started.
Indeed, Diaz has even played in midfield for the second string, proving his ability on the ball. Bielsa likes defenders that are good on the ball, as well as members of the squad that can play in numerous positions.
Diaz ticks all the boxes. So it begs the question, why have Leeds not moved to keep the Spanish ace? Indeed, supporters are not impressed that he has left on Twitter. Ultimately, the Whites should have kept Diaz.