Can Leeds United Secure Promotion this Season Under Marcelo Bielsa?

This new season promises to be another rollercoaster ride for Leeds United fans after coming so close to securing promotion in the 2018-19 season under former Marseille boss, Marcelo Bielsa. After losing several first-team players and bringing in a handful of new additions, there is still reason to believe that Leeds have more than enough within their ranks to be able to compete once again.

Now with 12 months of experience in English football under his belt, Marcelo Bielsa is better prepared to ensure that Leeds secure promotion at the second time of asking. As a result of that, we’re going to consider how likely promotion is, along with also looking at how the new signings could impact the upcoming season.

A New Season Filled with Fresh Hope

“Elland Road stadium” (CC BY 2.0) by stillunusual

After finishing third in the league behind both Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds looked to be the favourites to reach the Premier League through the play-offs after finishing three points above fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion. However, despite winning the first leg against Derby County through a Kemar Roofe goal, the Whites would later lose the second leg 4-2 and find themselves battling it out in the Championship for another season.

Despite that though, Leeds supporters have been full of optimism ahead of the new season, with most of them believing that this could be the year where they reclaim their spot in the Premier League during Bielsa’s second season in English football. Leeds are 3/1 to win the league according to Championship betting, and thanks to goals from Pablo Hernandez, Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison, the Whites got off to a flawless start in the new campaign after emphatically beating Bristol City 3-1.

New Signings

The 1991-92 English First Division champions sold Pontus Jansson to Brentford and have sold Kemar Roofe amidst interest from Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht. Leeds have also done some sensible business, which is one of the reasons for them being considered as favourites this season. Bielsa has managed to secure the loan signings of Ben White, Helder Costa and Jack Clarke ahead of the new season, along with also bringing in Liam McCarron from Carlisle United.

After signing for Tottenham Hotspur on a permanent deal earlier in the window, Leeds were able to get Clarke back on loan for the duration of the season to provide extra attacking depth. Additionally, Costa, who made 30 appearances in all competitions for Wolves last season, could provide that much-needed spark in attack. In his previous 71 Championship matches, the Portuguese winger has scored 15 goals and provided 14 assists which, along with potentially firing Leeds to promotion, could help in getting the best out of Patrick Bamford.

An Intense Season is in Store

With the Leeds starting side potentially looking much changed from last season, Bielsa may have to adapt his style to give Leeds the best chance of success during the new season. As is always the case with new additions, it will take time for them to fully settle and learn the philosophies of both the manager and the club. Although, if the victory over Bristol City is anything to go by, then the current Leeds squad have more than enough to enjoy a successful year in what is a very intense league.