By George Hartley

31st Dec, 2021 | 7:12am

David Prutton hopes Leeds United replicate last season's 'glorious success'

Ex-Leeds United player David Prutton has spoken about the club’s “transformative era” under Marcelo Bielsa and lays out hopes for 2022.

The former midfielder wrote on this season’s difficulties and his hopes of a revival in his piece for the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Prutton was also quick to praise the atmosphere at Elland Road even in the face of defeat having attended the club’s 4-1 loss to Arsenal before Christmas.

Sky Sports‘ EFL expert also jumped to the defence of boss Bielsa and cited the club’s injury crisis as the reason behind this season’s dramatic slump in progress.

In his article, Prutton said: “For Leeds United, there were the highs of the games in the second half of last season, the way the team finished and the position the team finished in which was a glorious success.

“The questions were always going to present themselves in the second season, as they are now.

“There has been a real transformative era at Leeds United – and the club needed it.”

Prutton was hopeful of a 2022 resurgence for his former side and backed Bielsa to work his magic and find a solution.

He continued: “They needed that man in Marcelo Bielsa to drag them back over the line into the Premier League and, hopefully, what we see from here on in re-affirms that.

“I was fortunate enough to be at the Arsenal game at Elland Road before Christmas with my son and the atmosphere was amazing.

“The defending was shambolic at times but it was a tough game in a tough period where Leeds were hanging on for dear life due to injuries.”

Player returns

For me, the only way is up for Leeds in 2022. The injuries to key players have undoubtedly been a huge factor in the club’s fall from grace this campaign.

Kalvin Phillips and Pascal Struijk are major misses and the dearth of strikers brought about by long-term injuries to Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo have caused havoc for Bielsa.

Diego Llorente is set to make a comeback against Burnley, according to recent reports, which will ease pressure on Bielsa’s defensive players.

If at least some of these players can retain their fitness before the end of the season, Leeds fans can be confident that they will be a huge help in the fight to stave off relegation.

Another crutch for Orta and Bielsa is the January transfer window. The club are linked with players on permanent deals and even loan moves would be a viable option for the club as they remain determined to keep Premier League status.

It will certainly be intriguing to see what the club do in January and we eagerly await further information on possible transfers for the club.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay says a former Leeds striker is unlikely to return to Elland Road.