Pundit: 21/22 will be Bielsa’s last season at Leeds – he must be ‘pragmatic’

Lewis Oldham
Leeds head coach Bielsa

Former Premier League striker Darren Bent suspects this season will be Marcelo Bielsa’s last at Leeds United.

Bielsa has been able to transform Leeds since he took over before the 2018/19 campaign.

The Argentinian has guided the Yorkshire outfit back to the Premier League. Before this, they had played in the football league for 16 years.

Ranking every manager by their impact since being appointed

Under him, they enjoyed a great season in the Premier League last year as they finished ninth.

This campaign has been more difficult so far though. They have only won three times as they have struggled with injuries.

Leeds currently sit 16th in the table and they are five points above the relegation zone. Bent has said that Bielsa’s side have not “been good enough” this season:

“He’s done a great job there,” Bent told talkSPORT. “They’ve been out the Premier League for 16 years and he got them back there.

“Obviously they finished ninth [last season], which is a really good return.

“This season, yeah, they haven’t been good enough, but you have got to take into account with the injuries.

“You’re talking about Kalvin Phillips – their best player. Patrick Bamford was brilliant last season. Liam Cooper – their captain – is out. Rodrigo, their back-up striker, he’s been out. Luke Ayling has been on the sidelines as well.

“So it’s not like they’ve had all their stars and not been able to perform.

“I’d like to see Bielsa, at times, be more pragmatic and don’t go so gung-ho because if you play the top teams, especially when you don’t have your best players, you’re going to get battered.”

Bent went onto suggest that this could be Bielsa’s last season at Leeds United:

“I think this will be his last season at Leeds because he’s been there longer than anywhere else.

“He’s done a good job but you’ve got to be able to adapt as a manager.

“I know you’ve got principles and you want to play a certain way, but if things are not working and you don’t have the tools to do what you want to do, you’ve got to be more pragmatic and change a little bit to try and nick a point here or there.”