Leeds United director of football Victor Orta has reportedly set his sights on Preston manager Ryan Lowe as a potential candidate to one day succeed Jesse Marsch in the Elland Road hotseat, according to one Sky Sports man.
The American coach took charge at Elland Road on February 28, just a day after the Whites pulled the plug on the Marcelo Bielsa reign. With results on the slide under club legend Bielsa, Marsch’s task was simple: keep Leeds in the Premier League. That was achieved in the most dramatic of circumstances as Leeds survived on the last day of the campaign.
That memorable 2-1 win at Brentford ensured it was Leeds that stayed up and Burnley who went down. And since then, Marsch has been afforded time to mould together his own side at Elland Road. To that end, Marsch has made nine signings this summer, with five of those making their mark in the side already.
Indeed, signing players who are familiar to him, Marsch has raided former clubs three times this summer. To that end, Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen have all played under Marsch before.
And the new season started in the brightest possible fashion, Leeds winning two of their first three matches. That included a memorable 3-0 home win over Chelsea, which was one of the club’s best results in years.
And while results have not been quite as good since – the 5-2 loss to Brentford in their last game was especially frustrating – Marsch appears to be under no pressure at Leeds.
With a contract until 2025, Leeds have no immediate plans to change their manager any time soon.
However, like any well-run club, Leeds are always planning for the future in the event of a sudden loss of form.
Sky Sports man claims Leeds like the look of Ryan Lowe
To that end, Sky Sports commentator Gary Weaver claims PNE manager Lowe could be a future target for Leeds.
The former striker is making a name for himself in the EFL after leading both Bury and Plymouth to League 2 promotion. After establishing the latter in League 1, Lowe made the move to Preston last December.
And the step up has not phased Lowe either. He guided North End to a 13th-placed finish last season, while they are currently ninth this time around.
Indeed, they have lost just once in their nine games played so far this season, winning two and drawing six. And while his side might lack a serious cutting edge, their brand of football is beginning to attract attention.
And it seems Leeds United are one of those sides who have been alerted to Lowe’s potential.
Commentating during Preston’s 1-1 draw with Burnley on Tuesday evening, Weaver let slip Leeds’ admiration.
“He does have an attacking brand of football as we’ve mentioned and it’s been noticed elsewhere,” Weaver said.
“A big fan of his is Victor Orta, the sporting director at Leeds United. He’s taken some interest in what Ryan Lowe does, and he may be on a list of future potential Leeds United managers at Elland Road.”
Leeds simply planning for the future
The fact that Leeds are looking at managerial alternatives should not surprise anyone. Every club in the Premier League will have a managerial succession plan in place in the event that the current man in charge departs or loses his position.
And while Marsch is rated safe at Elland Road for now, a bad run of form would see questions raised and his future placed in doubt.
To that end, the club would need to make a quick decision on a replacement were it needed.
And the Whites also had Marsch himself lined up for the hotseat once it became evident that the tactics of Bielsa were no longer working.
It’s the same story at other clubs too. Manchester United, for example, knew well before his appointment was confirmed that Erik ten Hag would be their main target once the time came. And Liverpool, too, have long identified Steven Gerrard as a potential successor to Jurgen Klopp.
Whether Ryan Lowe is that man that Leeds one day turn to remains to be seen.
For now, they will happily keep a watching brief on both him and Preston’s fortunes. And his stock will undoubtedly grow should PNE continue to impress in the second tier.