Leeds United get their man in Marcelo Bielsa who signs three-year deal

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 15 June 2018, 08:58

The wait is over. Leeds United have appointed Marcelo Bielsa on a three-year deal at Elland Road.

After two weeks of speculation, rumours and Chinese whispers, Sky Sports News now reports that the Argentine, known as ‘El Loco’, has been named as Paul Heckingbottom’s replacement at the Championship club, who have undoubtedly snapped up the managerial coup of the summer.

The 62-year-old, who will become the highest paid manager in the history of the club, is now expected to jet into Leeds for the start of next week ahead of the club’s pre-season.

Bielsa told the club's website:

“I am delighted to accept the role of head coach at Leeds United.

“It has always been my ambition to work in England and I have had several opportunities to do so during my career, however I have always felt it was important to wait for the right project to come along and so when a club with Leeds United’s history made me an offer, it was impossible to turn down.

“I am excited for the challenge ahead and I look forward to collaborating with Victor, Andrea and Angus, as we work hard to achieve great things at this football club.”

It will be Bielsa’s 12th spell in the managerial arena, and comes six months after he left his post at French side Lille. Prior to that he’d managed Marseille while he spent just two days at Lazio before leaving the club.

The meticulous boss is best known for his tenures at Athletic Bilbao, Chile and Argentina, winning the 2004 Olympics with the latter, while he led Bilbao to the Europa League and Copa Del Rey finals.

He’s also won three titles in his homeland with Newell’s Old Boys and Velez Sarsfield.

But while his trophy cabinet may not be bulging, he’s widely known as being one of the most influential coaches in the world, with the likes of Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Diego Simeone huge admirers of his methods.

He’s predominantly known for his 3-3-1-3 formation, which he used to great effect at Chile and Bilbao, with a focus on a rapid transition from defence to attack. It will now be interesting to see how he utilises his methods in the Championship.

It marks a statement of intent by Leeds who are desperate to bring Premier League football back to Elland Road for the first time since 2003/04.

It will be the eighth season in a row that a different manager starts the season in the Leeds dugout, and fans will be hoping that this time the glove fits.

However, the straight-talking and intense Bielsa is a fiery character meaning there is the potential for a volcanic eruption, while it’s worth mentioning that the last Leeds manager to see out three seasons was Simon Grayson (2008-2012).

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