By Craig Scott

14th Jan, 2022 | 11:10am

Phil Hay details Samuel Saiz-esque situation at Leeds United within last week

Marcelo Bielsa didn’t seem to want Cody Drameh to stay around after the right-back told Leeds United he wanted to leave on loan, according to Phil Hay.

Drameh, 20, joined Cardiff on loan for the rest of the season on 12 January even though Leeds’ defence is decimated by injuries.

He was substituted into the FA Cup defeat at West Ham on Sunday and would have more than likely been involved in the return to the London Stadium this week in the Premier League.

Drameh’s loan move from Leeds has raised a lot of concerns but The Athletic journalist Hay feels that the deal was sanctioned because Bielsa has no time for players who want to leave and pointed to the Samuel Saiz situation in Bielsa’s first season at Elland Road.

“The situation at the weekend was that they were totally undecided on that and erring on the side of thinking they needed all the bodies they could get,” Hay said on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show on The Athletic’s website.

“But there had been conversations with his agent before he went on Wednesday and it seemed to be it was very much a case of Drameh wanting to go and get games and wanting to go.

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“I see how that would benefit him with five or six months in the Championship at Cardiff playing regularly so there’s no dispute there. But I less get the sense of letting him go at a point where you’re already down on numbers and I can understand people being confused about the decision to do that.

“When Bielsa speaks [on Friday], I’ll be really interested to see what he says about Drameh because my gut feeling would be that Bielsa and the club wanted him to stay.

“I don’t see, in the short-term, who this really benefits.

“I can also understand people saying, ‘even if Drameh wants to go and play and it’s a potentially good move, these are circumstances which you could say no’.”

When asked why Leeds didn’t reject the loan bid from Cardiff, Hay added: “My guess would and from what I’ve been told, my assumption is that because he wanted to go, the view was that it’s better to let him go than it was to have him here.

“You’ll remember with Saiz in Bielsa’s first season, him telling the club he was homesick and wanted to leave. And, ok, he hadn’t been in that particular period, he’d drifted out of the team a bit and had been on the bench and it had been more difficult to get games.

“He was a core player in the squad and at the point he said he was homesick, the club said to Bielsa, ‘we’ve got this situation’. And rather than Bielsa saying, ‘look, talk him around, let’s get him to stay, it was a case of, ‘if he wants to go and he doesn’t want to be here, then he goes’. And he did.”


It’s fair to say that if you cross Bielsa, you don’t last long at Leeds United.

Saiz wanted out. He went. Pontus Jansson questioned the manager’s authority. He went too.

With Drameh, it’s likely to be different because at the end of the day, you can see why he wanted to leave on loan and ultimately, this move may benefit the Whites in the long-term.

However, you have to question the fact that Bielsa and the club is quick to baulk to the demands of a player – especially a young fringe player – when he’s needed.

Junior Firpo, Charlie Cresswell, Liam Cooper, Diego Llorente, Jamie Shackleton and Pascal Struijk could all be unavailable against West Ham on Sunday due to different issues.

It means Bielsa may have had to go with a back-four of Stuart Dallas, Robin Koch, Ayling and Drameh.

However, Drameh’s exit now means Leo Hjelde may have to start, which probably isn’t what Bielsa would have done.

In other Leeds United news, this senior star seems more likely to exit Leeds this month amid a new transfer report.