Gary Neville has described Marcelo Bielsa as ‘exceptional’ following Leeds United’s impressive return to the Premier League.
The Lowdown: Leeds excel on Premier League return
The Whites secured promotion back to the top flight last year and they have shone in their first year back in the big time, sitting 10th in the table and taking points off the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham.
It is Bielsa’s influence which has been the key to the Whites’ success, and Neville has been left hugely impressed by the Argentine.
The Latest: Neville lauds Bielsa
Speaking on Sky Sports‘ Monday Night Football [via Leeds All Over], the former Manchester United defender showed his appreciation for Bielsa, but stopped short of giving him his Manager of the Year prize. He said:
“To be honest with you, Bielsa at Leeds, absolutely exceptional performance.
“But I would still go with Tuchel or Guardiola, because to win the Champions League and the league and the Carabao Cup, which Pep could do, that takes some doing.”
The Verdict: Leeds’ most important figure
He has got the Whites playing some of their most entertaining and effective football in decades, also connecting with the fans in a manner similar to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, often being seen around town living a normal life.
The fact that Leeds are 10th in the Premier League – which would be their highest finish since 2002 – speaks volumes about Bielsa’s quality, with promoted clubs often battling the drop. Fulham and West Brom, who both came up with the Whites last summer, have both been consigned straight back to the Championship.
If Bielsa hasn’t been the standout manager this season – there are a number of valid contenders, in fairness – he is certainly not far away from being given that accolade. Neville is right to speak highly of the Argentine’s work at Elland Road.
In other news, a pundit has talked up the idea of Leeds signing a left-back this summer. Find out who it is here.
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