By Jonty Banks

15th Nov, 2022 | 7:10am

Phil Hay: Marcelo Bielsa not returning to England after Leeds United was simple assumption

Marcelo Bielsa will be open to returning to Premier League management following links with the vacant Bournemouth job despite his Leeds United legacy, according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.

Bielsa memorably masterminded Leeds’ return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence when winning the EFL Championship in 2020, before solidifying the club as a top-flight outfit.

The Argentine manager led The Whites to a ninth-placed finish in 2021 but was sacked the following season when sat only two points above the relegation zone and on a run of five defeats from six games.

Although he’s been out of management since the sacking, Bielsa has now been heavily linked with the vacant Bournemouth job and Phil Hay thinks he may still take that, even if fans believe he wouldn’t out of loyalty.

Hay wrote: “It was always assumed that after Leeds he would take his leave of English football permanently but the job at Elland Road ended abruptly for him and in the weeks after his dismissal, he was telling people close to him that he was open to the idea of working in the UK again.

“And telling them that, above all, he was absolutely set on returning to coaching.”

Memories

The news of Bielsa’s links with the Bournemouth job will not sit well with Leeds fans, but this is purely from a point of view where they don’t want to see him right in front of their faces. Fans can’t have expected the Argentine to never manage again in the Premier League due to his devotion to the club, even if it is yet to be confirmed.

Bielsa was the pivotal figure in The Whites’ promotion as he installed a winning mentality in an ever-dwindling side and brought a new, fresh culture to the club.

The moments he created in the 2019/20 season and the promotion to the Premier League will live long in the memories of fans and owner Andrea Radrizanni.

Billy Foley, the potential new owner of Bournemouth will think of his new club as the perfect profile for someone like Bielsa with all of his plans, but everyone will know that if El Loco does put on that new tracksuit, it will simply never look right – something even he must think about.

In other news, Phil Hay has insisted that Leeds United must avoid this transfer blunder in January as one position is eyed