By Craig Scott

26th Nov, 2021 | 11:10am

Leeds United must make plans in case Bielsa exits in summer - Phil Hay

Leeds United must ensure their squad is well-placed for a change of manager in the summer, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

Marcelo Bielsa is widely known to only sign contracts for one season at a time but a recent update by the Daily Star claims Leeds are pushing the Argentine to make a decision on his future sooner rather than later.

According to Spanish news outlet Super Deporte,  ex-Granada boss Diego Martinez has been contacted about replacing Bielsa and is keen on the job.

And if that happens, Hay wants the squad to be in the best shape possible and that may mean strengthening in January.

“From Leeds’ point of view, if Bielsa isn’t going to be here next season, if he’s going to go in the summer, they need a squad which is well-positioned and well built-up in order for the next coach to take on,” said Hay on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show podcast.

“I think, on that basis alone, some business in this window would make sense to obviously get them ahead of where they need to be next summer.

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“Actually, I think Bielsa can see himself that he’s short in midfield.”

Making plans

Leeds fans will stick their fingers in their ears and shout ‘blah, blah, blah’ if any mention of Bielsa potentially leaving Elland Road arises.

However, whether he’s leaving next year, the year after or the year after that, Victor Orta and the Leeds board will need to make plans to replace him.

If you look at teams like Manchester United and Arsenal, they’ve both lost legendary managers in the last 10 years and neither club has been able to perform well since.

That’s because their bids to replace their managers were rushed and not thought through well enough.

While Bielsa hasn’t been at Leeds anywhere near the time Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were at Man United and Arsenal respectively, his impact has still been massive and he’s widely regarded as one of the best managers we’ve had.

Replacing Bielsa won’t be easy and neither will be planning for his exit. But Hay is right and having a good enough squad is one of the best things to do because we saw how Man United and Arsenal had shown signs of regression prior to their legendary managers’ exits.

In other Leeds United news, a mainstay has dropped down Bielsa’s pecking order and been replaced by a teenager.