On paper, Jean-Kevin Augustin is a bit too good to be playing in the Championship for Leeds United.
This is a 22-year-old who was once valued by Transfermarkt at £22.5m. Not only that, but he’s also played Champions League football, and the list of clubs on his CV is mightily impressive as he’s played for European football regulars such as PSG, RB Leipzig and AS Monaco.
So how on earth did Leeds manage to land a striker of such pedigree when they were rivalled by Manchester United?
It has been revealed that one Premier League star’s previous dealings with Marcelo Bielsa may have had a part to play.
David Ornstein spoke about Leeds landing Augustin on loan, and he stated that the manager’s previous dealings with one Man City player had a hand in the deal being done.
“They conducted what I was told was a highly impressive process,” the journalist said on The Ornstein and Chapman Podcast (28/1/20 26:30).
“Marcelo Bielsa was absolutely key to this because the agent for Augustin is also the agent for (Benjamin) Mendy, and Mendy credits Bielsa for being absolutely pivotal to his development during their short time together at Marseille, I think in 2014 to 15, you can see some clips of them together online.
“So the relationship was there, the respect was there. Leeds conducted the process very diligently and thoroughly.”
This just shows that Bielsa is more than just an excellent tactician.
The Argentine may not be one to directly deal with transfers considering that’s Victor Orta’s job, but the aura and reputation that the 64-year-old has is a huge pull, and that’s what has helped them land a player of Augustin’s calibre.
Leeds United are historically a massive club, winning numerous league titles and European honours, but a lot of younger players probably won’t have memories of the Yorkshire outfit being one of England’s top dogs after 16 years outside the top-flight. However, with Bielsa’s presence it makes Elland Road an incredibly lucrative destination.
In other news, the loan fee Leeds are paying for Augustin has been revealed.