Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has paid a rich tribute to Leicester following their FA Cup success – and has identified what the Foxes have managed to do better than probably most of their Premier League rivals.
An FA Cup run eluded Leeds once again this season after their embarrassing third-round humbling at Crawley. It’s probably the only bleak spot on an otherwise triumphant return to the Premier League for Leeds. And having seen Leicester triumph on Saturday evening with a 1-0 win over Chelsea, Bielsa has paid them huge credit.
“What they have achieved is evidence of the great things that they have achieved,” Bielsa said. “To have won the Premier League and the FA Cup the other day is a level that very few teams can have. But this team has managed to do it.
Bielsa is also impressed by their ability to sell off their top stars and then seemingly replace with those similar. The likes of Harry Maguire, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell have all been sold for huge sums in recent years.
However, the Foxes have still managed to stay ultra competitive.
Praising their scouting, Bielsa admitted he was hugely impressed.
“Apart from that they did it so deservedly and it’s within a structure that is well thought out. They have sold some of their best players. But they have invested a lot in tools for the improvement of the players and the preparation.
“One of the things that showed the evolution from teams that don’t have such a high income is to find players who can grow and develop. They have the tools to be able to work with them in the best way possible.
“The installations they have and the professionals around and that circle of virtue is something that the club has shown.”
Mbappe, Leeds claim made
Leeds United’s displays this season have been so good, one pundit has jokingly claimed that ‘even Kylian Mbappe’ will be sitting up and taking notice about the style of play.
Their free-flowing football has much to be admired and gives Leeds plenty of optimism going forwards.
Leeds will likely strengthen in two positions this summer. They are looking at a new left-back – to replace Alioski, who is set to move on a free – and a midfielder to provide cover and competition.
However, after purring over their display at Turf Moor, BBC Radio Leeds pundit Noel Whelan joked that Mbappe would want to play for Leeds.
“I guarantee you. You got Mbappe watching this style of football, he would be like, ‘I would love to play in this side’. I kid you not,” Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds.