Few modern players know Leeds United as well as Lucas Radebe. 

The Chief is, justifiably, regarded as a legend around Elland Road, and his love for the club is still plain to see, even 15 years after his retirement.

Because of that long association with the Whites, he has seen a lot of things and been through a lot of dark times, just like the rest of us.

So it really is wonderful to hear him speak with such passion and conviction about the work that Marcelo Bielsa has done during his tenure in Yorkshire.

Speaking to ESPN recently, the former South Africa international said: “He is respected throughout football.

“He is one of those managers of character.

“To be honest, he turned things around. The players that played before him, who were just ordinary at best, are very good players for the Premier League this season, which is unbelievable.

“Getting Marcelo Bielsa was unbelievable, because you could have linked him with Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal. But him coming to Leeds meant that there was a dream to be realised. Now, he has turned the club around. He’s God. He’s the Special One.”


These are big, big words from Radebe, but how could anybody disagree with him?

Bielsa has been transformative for Leeds, and has dragged us from mid-table Championship obscurity to the promised land of the Premier League.

But Radebe’s comment should also serve as a warning too.

Bielsa was already highly regarded when he joined Leeds, and his profile will have sky-rocketed in the years since.

If things don’t pan out how we’re hoping they do in the Premier League, or if he feels that things aren’t going the way he wants them to, it’s not beyond him to just walk away.

He did it at Marseille, he did it at Lille, and he’s such a maverick that he could do it again in a heartbeat.

Hopefully, it never comes to that, but what we have seen already is that at the slightest hint of uncertainty the vultures begin to circle.

It was just six months ago that he was being linked with a shock swoop from Real Betis. 

In short, Bielsa is a special, special talent, but that also means that we have to be extra careful to hang on to him.

In other Leeds United news, Sky Sports: In-demand striker set to choose new club this week after snubbing Leeds.


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