‘Leeds United are going to sign Edinson Cavani’ – screamed the headlines. Suddenly lots of youngsters got excited as FIFA21 played out in the press headlines. Embittered Leeds United fans, used to the ‘Don’t go to bed just yet’ era simply shrugged. In truth, it would have been a massive signing but the news that Marcelo Bielsa is to sign a new deal will blow any summer deal out of the water.
The Sun’s Oscar Paul writes that Bielsa is on the verge of inking his signature at the bottom of a new deal that will be worth £8m-a-year. That’s an eye-watering amount for a manager/head coach but it is a package that he uses to pay all of his ancillary staff. Still, it’s £8m.
So what if it is £8m? It’s £8m well spent by Andrea Radrizzani. Look what we are getting. We are getting the continuance of brilliance, a brilliance that has been polished over two previous seasons. This might sound harsh but Bielsa took a rag-tag bunch of pretty much no-hopers and turned them into an outfit capable enough of winning the Sky Bet Championship title at a relative canter.
Let’s not forget, the bulk of the squad that achieved last season’s title by a 10-point margin was the body of the squad that had limped to 13th place under Paul Heckingbottom. Yes, exactly that – a squad of relative no-hopers who were the epitome of mediocrity. That’s another reason why no one is getting short-changed if Leeds United stump up £8m for Bielsa’s signature. From Paul Heckingbottom to Marcelo Bielsa; from 13th to 1st in two seasons – let that sink in.
In short, Marcelo Bielsa has brought something more than simple success to Leeds United. Belief, that’s what he’s brought. He has made a cohort of players really believe in themselves and for us fans? Well, he has given hope aplenty and we saw that from Day 1 of Season 1. He has brought with him an ethos which is something more important than just giving us football.
Marcelo Bielsa has made us believe even more deeply about what it is like to be Leeds. Why? Well, it’s because Marcelo Bielsa himself understands what it means to be Leeds. Just give him the £8m-a-year because it is us who are robbing him at that price.