What is life at Leeds going to look like after Marcelo Bielsa has packed his bags and left?
It’s a prospect that many won’t want to think about, but we can’t shy away from the fact that the Argentine is turning 65 soon, and he won’t be at Elland Road forever.
Luckily, Leeds do seem to have a contingency plan for life without the Argentine, and they already have a successor in their sights who Phil Hay says they’re ‘very keen’ on.
That man is Lee Bowyer.
Appointing a man who is currently in the midst of a Championship relegation battle to replace someone once touted as the best coach in the world seems rather ridiculous, but a more in-depth look at it shows that they could do a lot worse.
The first thing to note is that Bowyer won’t have any trouble commanding respect from the players or the fans.
The midfielder is a bona fide Leeds legend, playing 246 games for the club through one of their most successful periods ever.
Indeed, Bowyer was there for United’s historic Champion’s League run, and he provided Elland Road with one of its most memorable moments when he scored the winner against AC Milan in that year’s competition.
Alongside that fact, he’s quite a handy manager as well.
Ok, Charlton aren’t flying high this term, but truth be told it’s a ragtag squad thrown together on a shoestring budget. Transfermarkt state that Charlton only own one player worth over £1m – Lyle Taylor – and he’s likely to leave this summer when his contract is up.
Realistically, it’s a miracle that Bowyer has even been able to fight against relegation so strongly this term, and if he had a stronger squad he could go on to do bigger and better things.
Despite a season of struggling in the Championship, Bowyer still maintains a very healthy 42% win ratio, and to put that into some perspective, Bielsa’s at Athletic Bilbao was just 38% yet that was considered a very successful spell as he took them to a Europa League final.
Would Bowyer improve on Bielsa’s tenure? It’s very hard to say yes considering what the Argentine has done, but there are certainly worse avenues to explore once El Loco calls it a day at Leeds.