Nicolas Pepe looks like being one of the most wanted men in European football this season. The Ivory Coast international has had a sensational season at Lille, scoring 23 goals and assisting 12 in 40 games for the club.
The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been mentioned, with The Mirror suggesting a £60 million price-tag on the player.
But he owes plenty of his current success to the management of Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa.
The Argentine, as reported by Bleacher Report, signed him after one live viewing from Angers in 2017. The then Lille boss swiftly placed him a striking role having been convinced of his goalscoring ability. That failed to work, but this season those goalscoring traits have been proven.
Whilst Bielsa may have been sacked as Lille boss Pepe still holds the Leeds manager in high esteem.
“I had a good relationship with Bielsa, he’s a coach with a different playing philosophy. He made me play centre forward but that’s good because that’s what made me grow mentally.
“When we do not score, we doubt and it forges your character. It was thanks to him that I learned patience so it was a positive experience.”
He told Canal Football Club in February, as reported by But!, of how Bielsa helped shape him into the player he is today.
It is just another reason why Leeds United fans will be hoping Bielsa does stick around for next season. At the moment, it seems as though he will. The hope from the Elland Road faithful will be that Bielsa can mold some of the current Leeds talents into £60 million stars as well.