With everything that Marcelo Bielsa has done at Leeds United since he was appointed as the club’s manager back in the summer of 2018, it’s no surprise that fans of the Elland Road side absolutely adore him.
‘El Loco’ brought the Yorkshire club back to the big-time of the Premier League after winning the Championship last season, and the Whites have more than just held their own in their return to the top-flight – even after the weekend defeat to Aston Villa, they remain just ten points off the top four.
But, with Bielsa still yet to put pen to paper on a new deal – his existing contract comes to an end this summer – reports are suggesting that Leeds have got their eyes on potential replacements.
According to journalist Bruno Andrade, Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim is a name that is being “closely followed” by both Leeds and Leicester, with his impressive work at the Portuguese side being noted.
The 36-year-old is still very much a newcomer to management, having taken his first job as third-tier side, Casa Pia AC’s boss in the 2018/2019 campaign after retiring as a player.
The former Portugal international appears to be a bit of a maverick in the mould of a Bielsa, with Amorim already in his fourth stint as boss.
He helped Braga to the domestic cup in his first season in charge there, before retaining the trophy with Sporting a couple of months ago – the final of that game came against his former club, with both he and Braga boss Carlos Carvalhal, formerly of Sheffield Wednesday, being sent to the stands for arguing on the touch-line.
Aside from being a manic presence on the touch-line, just like the Leeds boss, it appears Amorim’s style of play is all about intensity and desire, with Portugal legend Jesualdo Ferreira, saying: “They all laughed when Braga announced it was promoting Ruben Amorim to manager. No one’s laughing now.
“Everyone who doubted him has been silenced. Ruben Amorim has injected aggression into Braga and maybe that was something they lacked. They lacked the mentality needed to go and win against big clubs in the league and he’s changed that.”
As a former top player for both Benfica and Portugal, Amorim could also bring a bit of credibility in terms of potential new signings at Elland Road who may have watched him play even quite recently, a la Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.
If Andrea Radrizzani does eventually find that Leeds have to appoint someone to succeed Bielsa, then he could find a dream replacement in the young and hungry Amorim.
Just like Bielsa has done in terms of bringing a bit of stability back to Leeds by staying longer than for just one season at the club, Amorim’s age could see him develop a real project in Yorkshire for a number of years if things work out.