Leeds's five best decisions so far this season so far: Phillips, Hernandez and Harrison feature
Leeds United have more reasons than most to push hardest for the current season to continue at some stage in the near future.
The Whites are flying high at the top of the Championship. And with seven points separating Marcelo Bielsa’s side from Fulham, they look to be in pole position to seal promotion to the Premier League.
It has been another fantastic campaign under Bielsa so far. And with the current break providing an opportunity for clubs and fans to take stock of what has happened and what may be to come, here is a look at the five best decisions the Whites have made so far…
5. Signing Illan Meslier
Squeezing in at number five is the decision to sign Illan Meslier on loan. Lorient confirmed on their official website when the deal was announced that Leeds have the option to make the move permanent.
The Daily Mirror recently reported that Leeds are ready to take up Meslier’s option. And that is no surprise based on the Frenchman’s first few appearances.
He was outstanding at Arsenal in January. And he is yet to concede a Championship goal. He looks to have an incredibly bright future ahead of him.
4. Pablo Hernandez’s new contract
It says a lot about how good Pablo Hernandez is that he has scored six goals and provided six assists in the Championship, and yet, some have questioned whether Leeds have seen the best of the Spaniard often enough this season.
The magician continues to pull the strings when the Whites need a little inspiration. So extending his contract until 2022 (via club’s official website) looks to be an inspired piece of business.
He will be 37 when that deal expires. But it would probably be no surprise to see fans imploring the Whites to offer him fresh terms even at that stage of his career.
3. Jack Harrison/Ben White double deal
Leeds announced on their official website that they had signed Jack Harrison and Ben White on loan on the same day last summer.
At the time, the deal may not have captured the imagination. Harrison had a mixed loan spell at Elland Road last season, while White had not played a level higher than League One before this season.
But the pair have been sensational for Leeds. They have both started every single league game for the Whites, and the fans would love to see them both sign permanently in the summer.
2. Kalvin Phillips’s new contract
One of the concerns after missing out on promotion last season was what may happen with Kalvin Phillips. He was one of the Championship’s best players last term.
It was a massive statement therefore, when Leeds announced that Phillips had penned a new five-year deal. The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Aston Villa had made a bid in excess of £20 million for the Whites academy graduate.
And he has continued to be arguably the most important cog in Bielsa’s wheel.
1. Keeping Marcelo Bielsa
Whatever happens this season, Marcelo Bielsa’s tenure looks set to be remembered as one of the greatest eras in the club’s history. He oversaw an incredible transformation during his first campaign and many fans would have been terrified about losing the Argentinian when the season concluded with play-off heartbreak.
But the club announced in May that Bielsa was staying for another season. Leeds look to have moved up a gear this term and they will be desperate for the season to resume as promotion could really be on the cards.
It would be incredibly sad – in football terms – if the Premier League was not graced by Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United next season.
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