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Six things Leeds United fans learned from Marcelo Bielsa’s first press conference

The Argentine gave his first press conference as a Leeds United manager today.

Mathew Nash

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Marcelo Bielsa gave his first press conference as Leeds United manager this afternoon. The Argentine had plenty to say in an 80-minute chat with the local, national and international press.

So what did Leeds United learn?

He’s done his research

This was never going to be a concern. Known as a meticulous taskmaster and workaholic, Bielsa was always going to have checked out his new club.

Perhaps slightly surprising is just how much. Bielsa says he has watched all 51 of Leeds’ games from last season and knows the club and its players extremely well.

Orta the man for transfers

It seems that director of football Vitor Orta will be calling the shots on transfers. Since Bielsa got the job many of his former players have been linked. But it seems Orta will be the man to identify transfer targets which Bielsa will then ratify.

Whether that will please Leeds fans or not remains to be seen.  

(Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

More out than in?

It appears that Leeds will not be bringing in a heap of players. In fact, Bielsa hinted that the club has too many players as it is and he did not want things becoming ‘top-heavy’.

Whilst new faces will arrive, Bielsa is not going to want the cash splashed.

Language not a barrier

Bielsa used a translator for the press conference. However, he did reveal he has taken English lessons in the past and that he will be able to get his ideas across without speaking English.

The Argentine clearly feels that speaking English to the players will not be overtly necessary to implement his system.

(Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

No promises

Whereas many others who took the Leeds job highlighted the need for the club to be back in the Premier League, Bielsa made no promises.

Whilst admitting it was the dream, the Argentine stopped short of suggesting it was likely.

Entertainment

Prepare to be entertained. Leeds’ new boss wants to implement his attacking style at the club.

When asked if he preferred Don Revie or Brian Clough, he suggested the latter. Take that as you will and hope for exciting football at Elland Road next season.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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Leeds United

After Instagram hint would Kenneth Omeruo be a great recruit for Leeds United

The Nigerian has been excellent on loan spells and could fit in perfectly at Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this week Leeds United secured the signature of Jamal Blackman on loan for the season. He was the second former Middlesbrough loanee signed from Chelsea this summer, after Lewis Baker arrived earlier in the summer.

Another player with a similar history then appeared to hint he could be next. Kenneth Omeruo commented on Blackman’s Instagram post about the move stating, “wait for me.”

What the Nigerian international meant by the comment is up for debate but, at the moment, there is no sign that Leeds are in fact interested in signing the player.

But should they be?

Omeruo could be a fine addition to the Leeds first-team.

First things first, Leeds are short at the back. Last season proved that another defender is needed at Leeds, even if Kalvin Phillips appears set for a dual midfield-defensive role.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Omeruo could also be perfect for Leeds’ new system.

It appears Marcelo Bielsa is adopting a fluid formation at Leeds. When in defence they look a solid four. But when in attack, the full-back’s push on and a midfielder drops in, creating a three.

Omeruo showed at the World Cup this summer that he is more than adept at playing in a back-three. Nigeria’s performances improved greatly when he joined William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun in triumvirate at the back.

Capable of playing at full-back as well the 40-cap international could be a great recruit for Leeds United this summer.

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Leeds United

Neil Warnock confirms no interest in Ronaldo Vieira, great news for Leeds United

Leeds United’s talented midfielder was linked with Cardiff City earlier this week.

Mathew Nash

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The weekend saw one of Leeds United’s top talents linked with a move to the Premier League. As reported by the Sun on Sunday [15/07/2018, page 59], Cardiff City were said to be keen on an £8 million move for England under-21 midfielder Ronaldo Vieira.

It was a move that would have left Leeds fans livid. Whilst Vieira did not have a great season last term he is still a hot prospect for the future.

But Leeds fans can, it seems, rest easy. Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock, a former Leeds manager with a rather low opinion poll at Elland Road, has confirmed his club are not interested in signing Vieira this summer.


“We’ve been linked quite a few times with him and from about four different agents I think, so I don’t know which one of them put it in the press!

“When I read a couple of things in the papers, I think ‘have I not said no about this player before?'”

– Neil Warnock on apparent Ronaldo Vieira interest


This development from Warnock is great news for Leeds. Not because they are not making a bid, but because it would have been hard to turn down for the talented midfielder.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

If Cardiff were keen, there is every chance Vieira would have pushed for a move.

As has been seen in the past, Leeds youngsters are not always prepared to wait for a chance in the top-flight.

Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor and Lewis Cook have all forced moves to the Premier League in recent memory and Vieira might have been the same if there was genuine interest.

Now it seems there isn’t, the 20-year-old can hopefully thrive under Marcelo Bielsa in 2018-19.

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Derby County

Matej Vydra should make Leeds move instead of misguided Premier League switch

The Czech forward bagged himself 21 goals last season.

Max Cohen

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Matej Vydra
Photo: Getty Images

According to The Sun, Derby County striker Matej Vydra is on his way out of Pride Park and is seeking a Premier League move, although fellow Championship club Leeds United are also interested.

Vydra should choose to sign with Leeds and fire the Yorkshire club to promotion, as he is not ready for a return to the Premier League.

The Czech Republic international is a player who occupies the awkward space between being top-class in the second division, yet not up to speed in the top flight.

In the Championship, there is absolutely no questioning Vydra’s quality. Last season for Derby, the striker banged in 21 goals and was the division’s top scorer, and in 2012/13 for Watford he chipped in 20 goals and eight assists.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

But in the Premier League, Vydra has struggled to find his feet. In 24 total top-flight appearances (23 for West Brom and one for Watford), the 26-year-old has scored just three times and provided four assists.

His poor Premier League statistics reveal why he is unlikely to receive much interest from top-flight teams this summer. But given Derby County’s Financial Fair Play worries, manager Frank Lampard may be forced to offload the frontman against his wishes.

The addition of Vydra would be a massive coup for Marcelo Bielsa’s men, as his past managers have heaped praise on the attacker. Back in October, Gary Rowett tipped Vydra to become the best creator in the second division.

“I said to him the other day that he’s got everything to be the best number 10 in this division. Both of his feet are fantastic; he can run, he’s quick and powerful.”

Leeds United would do well to acquire the services of Matej Vydra, one of the Championship’s best striking talents who could light up Elland Road next season.

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