This week has seen three new contracts handed out at Leeds United. Yesterday saw Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas tied down until 2024 and 2023 respectively. Meanwhile, Kalvin Phillips signed his long-awaited new deal at the club earlier in the week.
For Leeds United fans all three new deals have been welcomed as the trio in question are currently in great form.
However, that goes a long way to show just how much of an impact Marcelo Bielsa has had at Elland Road.
Before the Argentine’s arrival, there were big question marks over all three players.
Phillips had promise. However, plenty of Leeds fans felt he was never going to improve beyond a hard-working pro. Now, he has the nickname ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ for his ability to control the tempo of games in the Championship.
Plenty of Leeds fans would have happily seen Cooper out the door prior to Bielsa’s arrival. Under Garry Monk, it was Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson who reigned supreme at the back. Cooper undoubtedly struggled for form before Bielsa’s arrivals.
Then there was Dallas. Too slow to be a winger in the Championship but too defensively naive to be a full-back. Bielsa has turned the Northern Irishman into an excellent utility option who has fully earned his new contract.
These three players, perhaps more than any other, have benefitted from Bielsa’s influence at Elland Road. The result is lucrative long-term contracts at the Championship’s biggest club. Here’s hoping Bielsa can continue to make players thrive at Elland Road.