Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds United made an incredible start to the season and put together an eight-game unbeaten run before losing to Birmingham City last month.
Since that loss, however, Leeds have struggled to replicate that form and have only won one of their last three games and now sit third in the table.
Despite their recent struggles, Leeds look a completely different team under the Argentinian manager. Specifically, Kemar Roofe, Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich have all improved massively with Klich currently leading the teams in assists in tandem with Alioski and also joint top in goals with Roofe.
Bielsa didn’t bring in too many players over the summer and has instead relied on relatively the same team that played last season while also dipping into the youth academy. One youth player who has been used this season is Jamie Shackleton and due to his strong performances, the young midfielder could well be Klich’s future replacement.
In Bielsa’s 4-1-4-1 formation, Klich has thrived at being the midfielder that can burst forward to help the attack but also be the midfielder to come back and help out Phillips in defence.
However, under Bielsa energy sapping style of play, it’s going to be unlikely that the team can stay relatively injury free for the whole year. Indeed, as we have seen, the team has already begun to see the consequences of Bielsa’s draining style of play.
As a result of that, Shackleton could well play a key role as Leeds go into the new year and potentially towards the Championship playoffs. Defensively, Shackleton needs to learn how to read the game but going forward the midfielder definitely has the technique to suit the role. He may have only been used sparingly by Bielsa so far this season but their’s definitely a chance the young midfielder could take his place in the future.
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