By Saikat Mandal

22nd Feb, 2022 | 9:40pm

Marcelo Bielsa drops hint on Leeds United midfield scenario

Marcelo Bielsa has hinted that signing a defensive midfielder is a privilege for a club like Leeds United ahead of their Premier League clash against Liverpool on Wednesday (23 February).

For the past one year or so, it became increasingly clear that the Whites were looking to sign a central midfielder, but they had failed to land one.

However, Bielsa has suggested that he already has the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Robin Koch, and Pascal Struijk while Adam Forshaw can do the job as well, and as such adding another player is hardly required.

“I wanted to explain that in the game against Manchester [United], that we weren’t able to count on Phillips, Koch or Pascal who are the three players who take on that role of defensive mid to solidify the midfield,” said Bielsa, as quoted by Leeds Live.

“You don’t resolve that with bringing signings in because if not we would have four players for that position. Imagine being able to count on Phillips, Koch and Pascal for that position, it’s a privilege for a team to count on those options.

“But at the same time, occasionally situations like this are presented, so strangely the fourth player that occupies that position is the best player of the team in the second half which is the case of Forshaw.”

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Change in strategy?

Wow! That’s Bielsa for you.

The Argentine has clearly suggested that the current situation is an extreme scenario, where he is missing so many key players.

Basically, he is suggesting that when Phillips, Forshaw, Struijk, or Koch is fit, he doesn’t need to think about midfield set-up.

In the past, we have seen Leeds tend to struggle against sides when Phillips remains absent.

Based on his latest comments, it seems, he is pinning hopes on the development of Struijk and Koch as solid defensive midfielders.

Irrespective of where Leeds finish at the end of the season, this could mean a shift in transfer strategy next season.

Bielsa could still be willing to sign a midfielder, but not a like-for-like replacement for Phillips. He would preferably look for someone who is more attacking-minded.

The Argentine could even ditch plans to bolster that department completely and shift his attention in other areas, provided he stays on beyond the summer.

In other Leeds United news, a double-page spread in a newspaper says that it’s the beginning of the end for this Elland Road man.