While the departure of Marcelo Bielsa will have come as something of a shock to many Leeds United fans, Andrea Radrizzani’s swift appointment of Jesse Marsch as the Argentine’s successor in the Elland Road dugout is undoubtedly an extremely exciting move by the club.
Indeed, the American coach is young, innovative and passionate – RB Leipzig centre-back Willi Orban previously claimed he would “walk through fire” for Marsch – and favours a ball-oriented high-pressing tactical setup that would appear to lend itself perfectly to a side that has been drilled in Bielsa’s similar – albeit more aggressive – system for the past four years.
The 48-year-old also has a reputation for developing young talents, with Marsch having had a prominent hand in kick-starting the careers of Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Hwang Hee-Chan, Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino, Leicester City’s Patson Daka and RB Leipzig’s Dominik Szoboszlai.
As such, Marsch’s appointment would appear to be particularly good news for a number of Leeds’ up and coming prospects, with Sam Greenwood appearing one of the most likely to make a breakthrough under the American coach.
Since making a £1.5m move to Thorp Arch from Arsenal’s youth setup back in the summer of 2020, Greenwood has quickly established a reputation of being one of Leeds’ most exciting youth prospects.
Indeed, the centre-forward had already proven during his spells in north London and Sunderland that he is a player who knows how to find the back of the net, scoring six goals and registering six assists over his 15 appearances for Sunderland’s U18s, as well as bagging 15 goals and providing six assists in 39 appearances for Arsenal’s U18s.
This is form the ambidextrous 20-year-old has continued since his switch to Leeds, with the England U21 international having already scored a whopping 21 goals and registered four assists over his 35 outings for Mark Jackson’s U23 side.
This rather astonishing goalscoring record has already seen the £450k-rated striker be handed four outings for the senior team, while the young hitman has also drawn considerable praise from former Leeds centre-forward Noel Whelan, who stated of Greenwood:
“[He’s] another player who possesses an immense amount of ability. To have a weapon like that in your side is great. You can see the ability he has but the free-kicks are about the hard work he puts in on the training ground and for that he deserves to be praised.”
As such, while the 20-year-old still has some way to go if he is to hit the heights of the 129-goal and £135m-rated Haaland, should Marsch place his trust in Greenwood, the American coach could well have unearthed his next centre-forward sensation in the Englishman.