Leeds United could look to replace Marcelo Bielsa with his former assistant, should he leave at the end of his current contract…
According to the Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, Carlos Corberan – who is now in charge of Championship outfit Huddersfield Town – features on an initial three-man shortlist alongside former RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch and ex-Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde.
The 66-year-old has only five months remaining on his contract at Elland Road but the club are hoping that he stays for his fifth season at the helm, though we will not know of his intentions until the summer.
Should they need to seek a replacement, director of football Victor Orta and co will be well prepared. All three names have similarities to the 66-year-0ld.
None more so than Corberan, who worked as the Argentine’s assistant for two years before catching his first senior managerial break in England at the nearby Terriers.
The 38-year-old has endured a mixed time in charge, managing only a 33.7% win rate but large parts of that were trying to steer them to safety last season. He now has them on the cusp of a spot in the play-offs heading into the second half of the season.
Indeed, the Yorkshire club sit in fifth place, but only four points separate them to mid-table.
Corberan was part of the coaching staff when Leeds were promoted from the Championship in 2020, so he knows all about Bielsa’ system and methods, so if it’s another version of the Argentinian they want, then his former assistant is surely best suited.
“Under Marcelo, it is impossible not to learn things because all the time he is thinking about the team and how to improve the team and the players,” he said (via the Daily Echo). “The possibility to spend two years working with him was something special and something I appreciate a lot.”
Bielsa once dubbed his counterpart “very important” to their success as he helped groom the U23 setup to ensure they were playing in a similar way to the first-team squad.
He also said that the Spaniard was “very talented” and was someone that he values the opinion of more than himself, so that only goes to show the sort of influence he had in the dressing room during his time at Elland Road.
The similarities are understandably quite clear.
“I love to illuminate the game. Try to control games with the ball, try to keep the ball all the time, try to dominate,” Corberan told The Athletic. “Of course, your ideas change over time, but when I analyse the behaviour of players I look for those who can illuminate the game.”
It remains to be seen whether Bielsa will stay on for a fifth successive season but his former assistant would certainly be an intriguing option to replace him.
In terms of familiarity with his tactics and this squad, there may be no-one better.
AND in other news, Marcelo Bielsa issues worrying Patrick Bamford injury update…