Life at Leeds United may not be going exactly according to plan for Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman, having struggled for game time despite having joined off the back of a successful loan spell in the Championship last season, but his latest comments on his move to Elland Road reflect the remarkable transformation at the club.
Blackman has made two appearances, both in the EFL Cup, but is yet to make a league debut for the club, despite making 33 appearances for Sheffield United last season.
The fact that he made such a move to compete with Bailey Peacock-Farrell is testament to the value of Marcelo Bielsa, particularly when it comes to luring transfer targets.
“Everyone speaks really highly of [Bielsa], especially at Chelsea, and in the football community. It’s great to come here and work with him. There’s a lot of tactics that go with that, but he explains every little detail. We know what’s coming, why we’re doing it and what it will achieve. He’s quite quiet, probably because of the language barrier, but he’s very respectful of everyone. And he’s also a very easy person to approach, always available to talk to you when you need him.”
Whereas in the past uncertainty and instability in the dug-out would seem to have put off potential acquisitions, that situation now looks to have changed with the Argentinian’s reputation doing enough to persuade players to join.
Blackman is not the only player to make such comments either, and whether Leeds earn promotion in Bielsa’s first campaign or not, retaining his services and continuing to attract players of such high calibre is essential for any push for a top flight return.
The club’s marquee appointment appears to be paying off both on and off the pitch just months into his reign at the club, but Blackman’s declarations reflect how he is putting down the foundations for long-term success.