Marcelo Bielsa has already worked magic at Leeds United this season and he is set to pull another rabbit out of the hat by offloading Caleb Ekuban.
Eyebrows were raised last summer when Victor Orta drafted the 24-year-old to Elland Road as he had no experience at a high level, holding a record of 18 goals in 42 games for Albanian side Partizani Tirana instead.
It was not too surprising then to see Ekuban struggle with the rigours of Championship football, finding the net just once in 20 appearances last term, and Marcelo Bielsa understandably has no plans to use the Italian.
Finding a suitor for a striker with such a woeful record though is not easy, especially as TransferMarkt shows he is tied to a contract until 2021, but someone Bielsa looks set to have worked another miracle with the Peacocks.
“When a professional player has a history as a football player, for example Anita, O’Kane and Ekuban have history, one way to respect them is to keep them inside the team if they have the possibility to play in another position.”
Albanian outlet Panorama Sport state Flamurtari Vlore are set to bring Ekuban back to Albania by securing a loan deal with Leeds – crucially agreeing to pay half of the striker’s wages, which will be a welcome relief to Bielsa’s side.
Sometimes risks are necessary in football, particularly in the transfer market, but Leeds need to have more sense than to sign a striker solely on his record in a poor Eastern European league in the future – but thankfully Bielsa is sure to block any sort of similar madness.
The downside is that Ekuban’s exit will only be temporary and will see him return to the club next summer, which means that Leeds could find themselves in a similar position once again.