Marcelo Bielsa was appointed by Leeds United in the summer of 2018 and they finished third in the Championship – just missing out on promotion. However, Leeds won the Championship the following season and were promoted back to the Premier League after 16 long years.

Their first season in the top flight was impressive as the Whites finished ninth in the table. Unfortunately, Bielsa was sacked the following season owing to poor performances and Jesse Marsch was appointed as his successor. Leeds somehow managed to finish in 17th place and avoided relegation by three points last year.

Currently, Leeds find themselves in a relegation battle and their recent 1-0 loss to Everton has placed them in nineteenth place. Marsch was sacked earlier this month after a 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest.

They have won four, drawn seven and lost 12 of their 23 Premier League matches this season and things need to change soon. Former Watford coach Javi Gracia has been announced as the new head coach at Elland Road.

Bielsa is without a club right now but looking back, the team management will ponder whether the decision to sack Bielsa was the right one. The Argentine managed 170 games for the Whites with an average of 1.61 points per game, which was better than Marsch’s 1.16 in 37 matches.

Bielsa’s relentless pressing and attacking football still has some imprints on the current team as well. Players like Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha have left, but few remain at the club. Below, we will look at the seven players who played under Bielsa and are still plying their trade for the Whites.

Liam Cooper

Liam Cooper is currently the oldest serving player at the club. Having joined in 2014, Cooper has made 260 appearances for the club, scoring 10 goals. The 31- year-old Scottish centre-back has been like a rock at the back for them and played a major role in winning the Championship.

Currently their captain, Cooper has played 13 Premier League matches this season, scoring once.

Luke Ayling

Current vice-captain of the club, Luke Ayling has been an important player for every manager he has played under at Leeds. Playing as a right wing-back, Ayling has performed consistently as an engine down the flanks. His on-and-off-the-ball work rate made him a regular starter under Bielsa.

Leeds have recently exercised their option to extend Ayling’s contract by a year. However, this season he’s only managed to provide a single assist in 16 Premier League games as the club faces relegation.

Stuart Dallas

Stuart Dallas has made 266 appearances for the Whites and was a regular under Bielsa. He is a versatile player who can play at right-back, left-back and even in central midfield.

Unfortunately, the Whites have been without him this season as he broke his leg in May 2022 and is yet to make a return. Their recent form shows how much the team has missed him.

Jack Harrison

Jack Harrison was signed on a two-year loan by Bielsa in the 2018-19 season from Manchester City. He managed to impress so much that he was again signed on loan for another season before finally making the move permanent in 2021.

The left-footed winger has performed consistently over the years and was a crucial part of Bielsa’s attack. He has made an overall of 190 appearances across competitions for the Whites, scoring 30 goals and assisting 29 times. Despite the team struggling for form this season, he has managed to score one goal and provide four assists in 21 league matches.

Patrick Bamford

Another player signed by Bielsa in 2018 was Patrick Bamford, who has made 138 appearances for the club, scoring 48 goals during that time. His best campaign came under Bielsa in the 2020-21 season, when he scored 17 goals and provided eight assists in 38 Premier League games.

However, his form has dipped from the past two seasons due to recurring injury problems and he has scored just a single goal this season. Rodrigo Moreno’s excellent form has also limited his opportunities.

Pascal Struijk

Pascal Struijk signed from Ajax in January 2018, when he was just 18. Primarily a centre-back, his role has grown at the club over the years. He is yet to solidify his place in the starting eleven but has shown signs of improvement.

He has made 87 appearances for Leeds across competitions, scoring four goals and assisting once. This has been his best season as he has scored two goals and provided one assist in 20 League games.

Adam Forshaw

Adam Forshaw has made 84 appearances across competitions for Leeds since joining in 2018, most of which have been from the bench. He is yet to score a goal for the club and has provided just three assists in five seasons.

Injuries have hampered his career with Leeds. He had missed 71 games between September 2019 and April 2021 due to a hip injury and has not impressed much and his time at Elland Road.