Marcelo Bielsa talks up Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani
Marcelo Bielsa cites Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani as a key factor in his decision to remain in English football.
Bielsa is in his fourth season as head coach at Elland Road after accepting Radrizzani’s challenge to help end the club’s 16-year Premier League exile in 2018.
The 66-year-old Argentinian, whose side play Liverpool at home on Sunday, signed another one-year deal in August.
Bielsa said: “We see how Leeds is managed, the decisions that the owner has taken, the way that the owner has managed this club is contradictory (to the norm).
“He invests in the foundation, in technology for the foundation, in a way to find young players.
“They have improved facilities to take forward the programmes of work. The relationship he has with the fans, the respect.”
Bielsa had been asked what kept him at Leeds after claiming capitalist greed within football was the root cause of the latest club-versus-country row.
“They are the responses to your question, apart from that I’m not a reference because despite everything we’re talking about, it’s what the Premier League signifies that is absolutely desirable for every professional,” he said.
“I never dreamed I would be able to work in this league, but the references I have made (are about) the management of football as a product in the world.”
Leeds are bidding for their first league win of the season on Sunday as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool look to extend their unbeaten start.
There will be another full house at Elland Road for the resumption of league action after the international break.
“The affection that the fans transmit in the Premier League at Elland Road, you can see it for yourself,” Bielsa said.
“Of course that makes you emotional, it increases your desire to want to win the game.”
Bielsa confirmed Junior Firpo and Mateusz Klich are both available after recovering from coronavirus, while deadline-day signing Dan James is in contention for his debut.
Defender Robin Koch (pubis) is still out, but Stuart Dallas is expected to feature after withdrawing from Northern Ireland’s squad last week due to personal reasons.
Patrick Bamford has returned unscathed after making his first senior appearance for England in last Sunday’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Andorra.
Bielsa feels Bamford’s inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s plans can only improve the 28-year-old striker.
He added: “The higher the competition he competes in, the better his growth is going to be.
“Apart from that in this case in particular, the manager of England is a great manager that will surely contribute things to him that will facilitate his development.”