Olly Casey shares surprise claim Marcelo Bielsa made about now-former Leeds defender
Olly Casey has told Leeds Live that Marcelo Bielsa suggested that he can see both Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez in him ahead of the pair’s final Leeds United appearances last season.
Casey, of course, has moved on this summer. The 20-year-old has joined Blackpool permanently after coming through the ranks at Elland Road.
The centre-back was a key part of the under-23s that enjoyed more success this past season. And he leaves with a couple of first-team appearances under his belt.
However, he is not the highest-profile player to leave the Whites this summer. That honours surely belongs to Hernandez and Berardi.
It was announced ahead of the final game of the campaign that both players would be leaving.
The pair will be remembered as club legends. So it was fitting that they got to leave the Elland Road pitch to one final standing ovation as Bielsa’s men beat West Brom in May.
But interestingly, Casey has now disclosed how Bielsa’s words about the pair led to the Leeds boss making a surprise claim about the academy prospect.
“We had a pre-match meeting before the last game of the season and I was on the bench,” he told Leeds Live.
“In the pre-match meeting he was talking about Bera and Pablo leaving, then all of a sudden he just started talking about me, saying I’ve got a mix of Bera and Pablo inside me.
“He was saying I was a good professional and a good person, but I was saying to the lads ‘I can see where the Berardi is inside me, but I don’t know where this Pablo is.’”
Do Casey comments hint Marcelo Bielsa made selfless decision on defender’s Leeds future?
Leeds fans may remember Bielsa reflecting on the 2019 decision to let Clarke Oduor leave the club for Barnsley.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post that he would have wanted Oduor to stay. However, it would have been a selfish decision to keep him.
With that in mind, perhaps it is fair to assume that Bielsa has once again put the future of a young player ahead of his desire to keep them at Elland Road.
He clearly rates Casey. To suggest that he can see Berardi and Hernandez in the starlet is huge praise. It is particularly significant when it appears to have come from nowhere.
So perhaps it was another touch of class from the Leeds boss. He has let Casey get his career properly up and running – even if that meant letting him leave the Whites.
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