When Marcelo Bielsa arrived at Elland Road last summer, not many Leeds United supporters would have predicted just how big of an impact the Argentine would have on their club’s fortunes.
Yet by transforming the Whites’ style of play as well placing his trust in homegrown talent, the former Lazio boss has brought an air of positivity back to West Yorkshire after years of disappointment.
Although Bielsa ultimately failed in his quest to bring Premier League football back to Leeds after their dramatic play-off semi-final defeat to Derby County on Wednesday, there is no reason why they cannot bounce back next season if they get their transfer recruitment spot on in the summer.
An exciting talent, the 20-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful campaign in the third division with the Blaugrana’s B side and could join fellow La Masia graduates Oriol Rey and Kun Temenuzhkov if he decides to make the switch from Catalunya to Leeds in the summer.
Keeping this rumour in mind, let’s compare Mujica with one of the Whites’ current attacking aces…
Making an impression for any club as a youngster can be tough yet when you are playing for one of Europe’s biggest sides, it is almost impossible. Whereas Pep Guardiola was famed for giving Barcelona’s academy stars a chance to prove themselves during his reign at the Camp Nou, the same cannot be said for Ernesto Valverde.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Rafa Mujica has yet to feature for the Blaugrana’s senior side, especially when you consider that the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Lionel Messi, Malcom and Luis Suarez are all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Despite the fact that the 20-year-old has fired in eight goals for the club’s reserve outfit this season, it would be a huge risk for Bielsa to take if he is to sign the forward. Having only played in Spain’s lower divisions during his career, Mujica may struggle to adapt to the pace and power that English football is famed for.
TT GRADE: B-
Since signing for Leeds United in 2017 from York City, Ryan Edmondson has featured primarily for the club’s under-23’s where he has developed into a deadly finisher this season.
Having fired in 19 goals in all competitions for Carlos Corberan’s side, it seems as if it is only a matter of time before the 17-year-old is given the chance by Bielsa to make his mark for the Whites first team. Although Edmondson has made two cameo appearances for Leeds, he will be hoping that he can follow in the footsteps of Kalvin Phillips by becoming a regular in the years to come.
An incredible prospect, the former Minstermen forward clearly has all the attributes needed to become an Elland Road hero yet his development could depend on what Bielsa decides to do in the upcoming transfer window.
TT GRADE: B+
Although Rafa Mujica is a skilful young player, Bielsa should steer clear of signing him as he already has a gem on his hands at Elland Road in the form of Ryan Edmondson.
With the Whites ace being one of the key reasons for why the club’s under-23 side secured the Professional Development League-North title in March, he looks destined for greatness in the future.
Leeds fans, should Bielsa consider making a move for Mujica in the summer? Join the discussion by commenting below.