Every word Marcelo Bielsa said on Leeds United call-ups, Llorente latest and Cristiano Ronaldo


Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has been speaking to the media this morning, as usual via his translator Andres Clavijo, and has revealed some team news hints ahead of this Sunday’s game with Burnley.

Diego Llorente is back in contention after missing the first two league fixtures this season, while Adam Forshaw is likely to make the squad once again having come through Tuesday evening’s 3-0 win over Crewe Alexandra in the Carabao Cup unscathed.

Here is every word the boss had to say in his pre-Burnley press conference on Friday July 27.

What’s your reaction to Patrick Bamford’s call-up Marcelo and how proud are you?

I am happy. I think he’s made a lot of effort to be called up and finally managed to achieve it. From my point of view he deserves it. It’s the start of his evolution as a player as an international.

What’s been Bamford’s biggest improvement in the time you’ve been working with him?

I think the main characteristics that he has have always been the same ones. The fact he’s increased his effectiveness has had a good consequence on the evaluation of his game. There are centre-forwards who have very few chances at goal and there are forwards who have plenty of chances. Bamford usually has chances during the games and for him to have improved his range of efficiency has been an important step.


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Is Llorente in your thinking for Burnley?

We think so.

Can you tell us anything else regarding team news heading into the Burnley game?

At the moment, no.

Is there a concern certain clubs are stockpiling players at the detriment of everyone else in light of Cristiano Ronaldo potentially joining Manchester City?

Good players always elevate the level of the competition and the power of some institutions is something that moves between two big lines. They are powerful due to what they generate and those who generate less are also powerful. They deal within a certain set of rules so that scenario is absolutely legitimate in the measure that the rules are recognised as legitimate.

Is there a concern there is an over-reliance on Bamford for goals this season?

All teams depend on their players and especially those who shine. Throughout the season the ones that shine are not always the same players and the decisive power that Bamford had in the last 20 minutes of the [Crewe] game, you can’t forget how the other previous 70 minutes went. The opposition were tired when he came on. The fundamental difference in the last ten minutes of the game, Leeds scored three goals but in the first 80 minutes, we created 15 chances and in this case Bamford didn’t score but he had a decisive participation so the conclusion is that the team grew with Bamford coming on, especially due to the efficiency that was produced in those minutes.



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But Phillips had had a prior chance from a set-piece, as easy as the one that he scored. Rodrigo had some clear chances at goal too and Tyler [Roberts] had clear chances and the rest of the team shared chances also. To summarise, Bamford was very important, but what the rest of the team facilitated, what they did was also important.

Will Rodrigo’s last appearance at Turf Moor be in your thinking ahead of team selection this weekend?

It’s very difficult to link [back] to what happened in May. Rodrigo is a player that doesn’t need [a previous performance] referencing that was so far away to be considered [for this weekend].

Junior Firpo and Jack Harrison are you liking what you’re seeing from that partnership so far?

Progressively it gets better but the last game can’t be a game that has a reference that has a lot of weight even if what they did was good.

Do you expect anything different from Burnley this season?

It’s a very difficult team to face. They have clear stabilised manner in which they play and normally to overcome them is difficult.

How is Robin Koch? Is he in contention?

He’s evolving but he’s not completely healthy just yet.

Why have we arrived at a place where transfers are valued so highly by fans? Is it media-driven?

If transfers have become what you have just stated, I don’t feel in a position to make an evaluation or comment on it. The transfer of a player normally indicates a team gets a signing that elevates their level and this increases the hopes of the fans. Apart from that it’s one of the aspects of information that has a lot of repercussion, where you can say a lot of things even if they are not true. It’s a scenario that is very attractive for the media companies.

How has Kristoffer Klaesson settled in with the 23s? Have you been impressed with him?

It’s far too quick to have an opinion. There’s a process of adaptation that he’s going through in a very professional manner and our goalkeeping coach Marcos Abad, he’s taking on board this process in a very efficient way.



Kristoffer Klaesson completes his transfer to Leeds United, July 31, 2021

How has Adam Forshaw’s body held up after his appearance the other night?

He’s reacted positively. He played 60 minutes and he did it in a very intense manner. The recovery in the days after the game has been satisfactory. Our hope and desire is that as time goes on we won’t need to worry about how he deals with the loads and we will consider him fully healthy.

What is Marcelo’s assessment of Rodrigo’s 12 months as a Leeds player?

Rodrigo is a player with all the faculties to triumph at Leeds and in English football. His football and technical resources can’t be better. His physical responses are one of the best in the team. He’s a very serious professional, very dedicated and very conscientious. In a parallel way, he’s had an important influence on the team, less than we expected, and when it’s about a player like Rodrigo, that doesn’t have aspects to correct – that’s to say he trains a lot, he has high physical resources, he has technical resources above the average and is having continuity. So it’s about me putting him in the team and having a higher repercussion in the team that he is currently having. I sincerely exempt him from any responsibility because in every game, every training session, he is impeccable. He’s a player who leaves it all [on the pitch] and he fights especially to try and win. He’s not a player that is happy with not having a protagonist’s role within the team. To summarise all of that, any manager – with the disposition and the willingness he has – would want him to try and *inaudible*.

Do you accept the credit you deserve in Patrick Bamford’s development?

If I thought I had merit in it, I would tell you. Sincerely, I see everything from the inside but I feel it’s what he’s done to make him evolve and resulted in him being called up.



Patrick Bamford of Leeds United is challenged by Allan of Everton
Patrick Bamford of Leeds United is challenged by Allan of Everton

What technical qualities has Raphinha got that made him a success in the Premier League?

He’s a very potent player and it’s very difficult to triumph in the Premier League if you don’t have this potency. This explosiveness and repetitions, quick physical responses. On top of that he sustains the efforts of any problems but players in those conditions, there are many in the Premier League. What there are very few players of, is the players of his talent with his feet to resolve a situation. Apart from that, being able to imagine the responses and be able to actually do them also. If I were with my friends, they would say so many words just to say that he plays well.





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