Leeds United are a side going places this season, or at least it seems that way. Sitting pretty in the Championship, there’s a real chance of a Premier League promotion in the offering.
All of this good fortune, all of this upturn in performance, all of this euphoria is down to one thing – the employment of Argentinian coaching legend Marcelo Bielsa. It’s as simply put as that.
The changes that he’s installed, and instilled, at Elland Road has driven an underperforming outfit to the brink of a Premier League promotion. All of this has been done with the bulk of a side that finished a sorry 13th last time out.
Whilst the former Argentina and Chile national team manager has woven his magic on the Whites’ domestic fortunes, there’s one area where his magic fingers haven’t had that Midas touch – Spanish loan deals.
Yet again Leeds United have loaned players out to Spanish sides this season, Hadi Sacko and Samu Saiz. Sacko spent the first part of this season on loan at UD Las Palmas in Spain, where he made just five appearances totalling just 97 minutes.
An angry Leeds brought him back, securing a half-season deal at Turkish side Ankaragücü. This move away from Elland Road has, at least, brought about more success in the shape of nine Super Lig games (628 minutes) and one goal.
The case of Samu Saiz is something much more galling for Leeds United fans to witness. The mercurial Spaniard was one of the most gifted players to grace the turf at Elland Road in a long time. Yet at the turn of 2019, family matters forced the Whites hand and he was allowed to negotiate a temporary return to his homeland.
He’d featured in 19 games in this season’s Championship competition before his move back to Madrid with Getafe. Since arriving he’s featured in just six La Liga games, picking up just 228 minutes of game time. He’s not featured in any of Getafe’s last NINE La Liga games, failing to make the squad in four of their last five games.
This failure, alongside Sacko’s failed time at Las Palmas mirrors deals last season that saw Spanish side CyD Leonesa waste loans of Leeds United players Ouasim Bouy and Yosuke Ideguchi.
Whilst Bielsa’s arrival has changed fortunes on the field at Elland Road, it appears that the Spanish loan situation stays the same.