Leeds United’s transfer policy over the past few years has focussed heavily on signing young players for the U23s outfit.
Millions have been spent on bringing in young stars such as Sam Greenwood, Cody Drameh, Stuart McKinstry and Mateusz Bogusz, and it may be time for Leeds to start harvesting the fruits of their labour.
One man who could soon be ready to step up to the first-team is Liam McCarron. The young winger has been making waves over the past 12 months earning his first Scotland U21s call-up over the summer, and it’ll be interesting to see what he can offer the first-team in years to come.
His former coach at Carlisle gave him a glowing review earlier in his career, and it seems as though he could be a perfect Bielsa player.
“At 15 he was blessed with loads of pace, which is why we took a chance on him, but he was a young boy who would get very frustrated very quickly,” Darren Edmondson said.
“As he’s matured and come into full-time football, that’s been the biggest change in him. If he makes a mistake now, his work rate is unbelievable.”
One interesting thing to note is that the teenager was proactive in his pursuit of improving his work rate, and it wasn’t just something that came naturally to him.
In July 2017, McCarron was asked to answer a few questions for Carlisle’s website, and he revealed that one area he needs to improve was tracking back and helping the team defend, and within a couple of years he was in the first-team being praised for how hard he works.
This is exactly the type of player that Bielsa can mould to become a star. The Argentine has been lauded as one of the best coaches in the world, so it won’t take long for him to spot areas on McCarron’s game that need some work, and if the former Carlisle man can approach those issues with the same sort of attitude he had when faced with wanting to improve his work rate, he could become a star under Bielsa.
You only have to look at the way he has transformed the likes of Kalvin Phillips to know that the ex-Lille manager is someone who can get the best out of young talent.