There are few things in football discussed more than Marcelo Bielsa’s future at Leeds United and Paul Merson has now added his voice to the discussion.
His position is clear – if the Whites repeat last summer’s transfer window then there is no chance he will leave Elland Road.
That is mainly because of one man – the Brazilian wonder that is Raphinha.
The 24-year-old has lit up the Premier League since joining from French side Rennes in October, scoring five and assisting the same number in 20 appearances.
Appearing on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday [12:30pm, 27/02/21], Merson told the panel that more signings like Raphinha will ensure Bielsa doesn’t fathom the thought of leaving West Yorkshire.
Asked if Bielsa will stay beyond this season the former England international said: “Yeah, 100%, 100%. He gets paid good money, he’s watching a good football team and he’s got very enthusiastic young lads there who want to sit and listen and work in his way.”
Merson added: “You’ve got to have the players, and this ticks the box, I just think if he keeps on bringing a couple of players like Raphinha because wow, where did he get him from?
“If they do that I think he’ll stay, I think there’s a great project going.”
Our own Magic Man
Back in his playing days Merson was affectionately dubbed the ‘Magic Man’ due to his close control and ability to beat defenders at ease as he patrolled the Highbury wings for Arsenal, and we appear to have found our own magician in Raphinha.
He has been simply sensational since arriving at Elland Road and we can’t imagine this team without him.
Raphinha is the heartbeat of this team and it is his industrious displays and tenacity to close the opposition down that has also won him so many admirers up and down the country.
We think this side is primed for something special if Raphy and ‘El Loco’ are here for years to come.
Merson is right – why would Bielsa go anywhere else?
This club is set up for him, and we wouldn’t swap him for the world.
In other Leeds United news, Whites’ chances of European football rated in Opta’s predicted Premier League table.