Leeds United have made Jesse Marsch their top candidate to replace Marcelo Bielsa in the Elland Road dugout this summer, should the 66-year-old leave at the end of his current contract…
According to Sam Wallace of the Telegraph, the American coach is the first choice to succeed the Argentine if he calls it a day at the end of the season.
The 48-year-old is currently out of work and holds a respectable coaching history, managing in the MLS and in Europe with RB Salzburg.
It’s thought that minority shareholders, 49ers Enterprises, would also be consulted on the process.
There is also interest in Marsch from Athletic Bilbao.
More and more noises are starting to emerge about the future of the man in charge of the Yorkshire giants. As we know with Bielsa, he won’t be making any decision until the summer but unlike other years, there’s a general view around the club that this will be his last season at the helm.
“My hunch is that this might be his last season. It’s only a hunch and the reality is that no-one knows with him. The board and Orta treat the head coach’s position like they do recruitment,” claimed The Athletic’s Phil Hay back in December.
Further fuel has been added to the fire by Daily Mail journalist Dominic King, who confirmed Wallace’s information and also suggested that the Whites’ director of football Victor Orta was “a huge fan” of Marsch, for the work he did at the Austrian giants.
The 48-year-old could indeed be something of a perfect replacement for Bielsa due to the similarities in their style of play. He too likes to deploy a fast-paced and high-pressing system, one which saw him earn an impressive win rate of 68% at Salzburg.
‘Key to my way of playing is the idea of pressing to score goals; not thinking about possession when you win the ball, but thinking about how to get the ball forward and score as quickly as possible,’ he once revealed to The Coaches Voice.
Meanwhile, some of his former players have waxed lyrical about his coaching exploits – for instance, Dortmund striker Erling Haaland once dubbed him “an amazing manager” and “an amazing guy” after their short time together, whilst Leeds transfer target Brenden Aaronson described him as “awesome.”
It certainly seems like Leeds are preparing for the inevitable here, so they could well stumble upon an ideal successor to Bielsa in Marsch. Whether a change is made at Elland Road remains to be seen at this stage but come the summer, we will know so much more.