Bielsa selection dilemma at centre back

19 Jul 2021 08:00 am, by Ellandback1

Good Morning. It's Monday 19th July, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...

Bielsa selection dilemma at centre back

Pre season is well underway, and as usual, players are jockeying for position, eager to be involved in the opening game of the season at Old Trafford. The most hotly debated positions have to be at centre back where Marcelo Bielsa has the luxury of choosing two from Llorente, Cooper, Koch and Struijk; a rarity he was rarely afforded last term. New club ambassador Noel When believes 'It’s going to be a really difficult decision to make';

We are blessed with four quality centre-halves. I cannot remember a time where we have had this much competition in that position. It’s going to be a really difficult decision to make. Every single one has got a case to play. You have internationals in Cooper, Llorente and Koch and a great young player in Struijk who I thought was excellent last season. He really stepped up to the plate and showed what a fantastic centre-half he is. He just got better and better.

It is going to be a hell of a jostle in pre-season for those two spots. I am excited by it. “Llorente really showed what a top player he is when he came in. He got a good relationship going with Struijk. He also had a good one with Cooper as well. It is going to be a real tussle between the four of them. You just hope that none of them get any kind of injury that halts their pre-season. Competition is so important to get the best out of players.

Whites pursue Algerian international

Several sports media outlets are reportingthat Leeds are talks with Ligue 1 outfit Metz over their versatile midfielder Farid Boulaya. The 28-year-old can play in attacking midfield or on either flank. Last season, the Algerian International netted six times and was credited with eight assists, helping his side secure a 10th-placed finish in the French top flight. He only has twelve months left on his contract, hence interest from West Yorkshire that they may be able to secure a deal for just €4.5 million.

Leeds chasing Yangel Herrera

According to the Sun, both Leeds and West Ham have been linked to Manchester City's midfielder Yangel Herrera. The 21-capped Venezuela international has enjoyed a two year loan deal at La Liga outfit Granada, helping them to a top half finish last season. He played 62 times, netting five times.

Herrera 23, signed for the blue side of Manchester back in 2017 from Atlético Venezuela. Unfortunately, four years on, Herrara is yet to make his debut! Citeh value their gritty and tenacious midfielder at £20m, which is more than Leeds would want to pay out on a defensive midfielder who will not be guaranteed a starting position!

Perhaps Pep Guardiola will let Leeds have his services on a season long loan move subject to a fixed fee?

View all Showing latest 5 comments of 28...

1964white wrote on 19 Jul 2021 06:49 pm

Cjay wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:21 pm v=
Boulaya isnt the most exciting name in the world.

28 years old, only 1 or 2 seasons of note in his career.

Apparently blighted by injuries, seems that he is one of those players that could have been so much more but circumstances hindered him.

Metz fans rate him, some say he is the most technically gifted player they have seen at Metz (a club that counts Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord, Franck Ribery as ex players).

And maybe everything just clicked for him last season and we saw the player that he could have been?

He is top 10 for chances created, big chances created and a host of other stats in the big European leagues the last 12 months.

The Guardian named him in their top 10 for breakthrough transfer targets in January. ... ya-fc-metz

He may not be a big name but for £4million it may be a shrewd signing?

Imo at times we really lacked creativity centrally so if Farid can come in and give us an extra option then im all for it.

Besides look at the video, i know highlights can be misleading but some of those passes are world class, their is talent in him.
Looks a bit special :tup:

John in Louisiana wrote on 19 Jul 2021 03:00 pm

Cjay wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:21 pm

Besides look at the video, i know highlights can be misleading but some of those passes are world class, their is talent in him.
Some were absolutely Pablo-esque.

Me likey. Definitely worth it at that price.

I think Koch showed he might make a good DMF at times last year. I prefer to think of our situation. not as having four center backs, but as having nine men (Cooper, Dallas, Koch, Firpo, Ayling, Struijk, Phillips, Llorente, and Klich) to cover essentially six positions. There will be playing time enough for all. It helps that Dallas is so versatile.

I'm also thinkin' that this is why we've been linked with wingers as well. An attacking MF and a winger would give us six men to cover the four positions now covered by Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison, and Bamford. We have players who function as backups at those positions, but the nine men listed above are all first-teamers. We could start any combination of those nine and not suffer at all in terms of quality. Roberts, et. al. have a way to go before we could say that about them.

Ellandback1 wrote on 19 Jul 2021 02:06 pm

Scoobychief wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:18 pm cant see any dilema, its got to be koch and llorente if both are fit, easy really and when injuries start we have struik and cooper as spares
Is it just me, or during the last third of the season were a lot of people being anti Koch?

Ellandback1 wrote on 19 Jul 2021 02:05 pm

faaip wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:06 pm Image
Brilliant...... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

1964white wrote on 19 Jul 2021 01:24 pm

Cjay wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:25 pm Llorente is a must start

Personally id go for Struijk also because whilst Coops deserves credit for his adaption at Prem level his constant pulling at set pieces gives me mini heart attacks and his lack of positional sense means he often has to lunge in and make last ditch tackles.

A valuable squad member but Struijk is thw future and present

MB will never drop Coops so all this paragraph was entirely pointless
:lol: :lol: :lol: