The Athletic’s Phil Hay has revealed that Club Brugge manager Philippe Clement was “mentioned” as a potential Marcelo Bielsa successor at Leeds United.
During a Q&A for The Athletic, the journalist said: “Gasperini is a very interesting shout. I don’t have a name but I’m told that Leeds knew who they would go for if Bielsa had decided that one season in the Premier League was enough. They had a plan in place if they had to move suddenly.
“One name mentioned to me (but I really am just speculating here) was Phillipe Clement at Club Brugge. The one thing we all know is that it’s going to be a massive transition, not just of coaching staff but most likely of players too. And it’s going to be a huge call.”
According to The Examiner Live, “Clement adopts an aggressive pressing tactic high up the pitch”, while “his preferred formation is 4-3-3” – both of which should be music to the ears of Leeds fans.
Bielsa has built an identity at Elland Road based all around hard work and intensity off the ball, and it appears Clement is built from that same managerial cloth.
He has also won back-to-back league titles in Belgium and also picked up a domestic cup to his name too, while he has also presided over some pretty impressive results in the Champions League in particular.
This season alone has seen Brugge pick up a superb 1-1 draw against French giants PSG in the opening game of the group stages, while they followed that performance and result up with an outstanding 2-1 win away at RB Leipzig.
At just 47 years old, Clement appears to be the archetypal modern coach who seems well-equipped to step into Bielsa’s shoes should the Argentine call it quits sometime in the near future.
The tactical styles seem quite similar, while Clement’s experience at leading teams out in the Champions League and winning league titles domestically should also bode well for the future at Elland Road.
While the prospect of seeing Bielsa leave is sure to have fans worried, bringing in someone like Clement would surely be exciting.