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Marcelo Bielsa ‘respects and admires’ free agent Gael Andonian: Potential short-term fix?

Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa ‘respects and admires’ free agent Gael Andonian: Potential short-term fix?

The Armenian worked under Marcelo Bielsa at Marseille.

It appears that Leeds United are set to be without captain Liam Cooper for a period of time. The defender suffered a knee injury against Sheffield United this weekend and early evidence would suggest Leeds fans have seen the last of Cooper in 2018.

Leeds are now desperately short at centre-back. With covering options Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi also injured, youngster Aapo Halme has been drafted in.

But there is an option available to Leeds right now, for free, who is already well known to Marcelo Bielsa.

Voetbal: 16-9-2015,UEFA, Fc Groningen vs Olympique de Marseille,training,,Gael Andonian of Olympique de Marseille during a training session prior to the Europa League match between FC Groningen and Olympique Marseille on September 16, 2015 at the Euroborg stadium in Groningen, The Netherlands.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

Gael Andonian remains a free agent after his exit from Marseille in the summer.

He would be a Sunderland player now, were it not for the issues surrounding Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong, two players sacked by the Black Cats.

 

“I have a mixture of respect and admiration for this player (Andonian).

“He is an irreproachable professional. At his age, he has already managed to assimilate all the rules or duties that the footballer’s job requires. He has all the qualities for the position where he plays.”

– Marcelo Bielsa on Gael Andonian


The Armenia international spent time on trial at Sunderland and impressed manager Jack Ross. Now he is still available and Leeds could certainly do with an option right now.

Bielsa also managed him at Marseille. He spoke warmly of the 23-year-old, saying he respected and admired his talent.

It could be a brilliant short-term fix and, in the long-term, Andonian could also be a decent addition at Elland Road.

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