Kevin Phillips has tipped Leeds United to get promoted and for Marcelo Bielsa to manage in the Premier League for the first time next season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England striker and Premier League coach hailed the Argentine for transforming Leeds’ fortunes and claims he would be a welcome addition to the top flight.
Phillips was a “little” surprised Bielsa did not leave last summer but admitted the Yorkshire outfit are a “huge, huge club” and a massive draw for the Argentine.
United triggered the option to extend Bielsa’s contract last summer after his first campaign ended in a third-place Championship finish and play-off semi-final defeat.
Asked by Football Insider if he was surprised that Bielsa stayed at Leeds after missing out on promotion in his first campaign, Phillips said: “A little bit, yeah, but Leeds are a huge, huge football club and he probably sees that if he could get that club to the Premier League, the size of the football club, where else better to manage?
“A little bit (surprised) because generally foreign managers don’t tend to hang around. But why would Leeds sack him when they’re challenging for promotion?
“The fans love him, people in general in football like his style of play so I think we’re all pleased he’s still here.”
Phillips admitted to being concerned at the prospect of Bielsa leaving in the summer, but tips Leeds to go up and for him to stay.
“Possibly, if they don’t go up [he would leave],” Phillips added to Football Insider. “Maybe go on to another fresh challenge somewhere else but I can’t really see anyone catching Leeds or West Brom this season so I can see him at the club next season in the Premier League.”
Leeds are well placed to secure automatic promotion this season as they are second in the league with 55 points despite a recent wobble that has seen them lose three league matches out of four.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are set to announce a blockbuster deal this month after extensive negotiations.