Leeds United ended their long wait for a return to the Premier League as Marcelo Bielsa led the team to championship promotion in the 2019-20 season.
The Argentine head coach took two seasons in the second division to claim the coveted prize of securing top football as the whites won the title and finished above West Brom in the table.
Bielsa also came close in his first campaign as leader, as he led the team to third place, finishing below Sheffield United and Norwich before losing in the play-offs.
The ex-Marseille coach arrived at Elland Road in the summer of 2018 and his first transfer window in Yorkshire was busy as Victor Orta brought in Patrick Bamford, Barry Douglas and Kiko Casilla.
Leeds also cashed in on one of their best prospects when they sold central midfielder Ronaldo Vieira to Italy’s Sampdoria for a reported £7.7million fee.
Whites owner Andrea Radrizzani explained that he had made the sale for the good of the club, telling BBC Sport:
“The investment we’ve made over the past year doesn’t allow us to do anything else to find more resources.
“The sacrifice was very difficult for me to do because he is a great player. He was one of the best players from our youth, but I cannot put the club at risk in the future.
“We thought it would be a sacrifice we could take, and still keep the team and invest where we need more.”
One of the players they signed with the money raised from the sale was Bamford and the striker scored 16 Championship goals in the promotion winning season and then managed 17 top-class strikes to help Leeds secure their place in the division. preserve.
Meanwhile, Vieira struggles to continue his career. He made just 67 appearances for Sampdoria in just over four years at the club, although he was loaned out to Hellas Verona for a year in 2020/21 – playing five times.
In the three seasons that he has played 10 or more games in Serie A, the Englishman has failed to achieve an average player score of more than 6.68. For context, a score of 6.68 would place him 18th in the Leeds squad for the 2021/22 Premier League season – under Helder Costa and Adam Forshaw.
This suggests that he has not been able to deliver consistently impressive performances in the Italian top flight and his market value is a reflection of that. At the time of writing (23/09/22), Transfermarkt value Vieira at £3.15million – significantly less than the initial £7.7million Leeds received for him in 2018.
His value has plummeted by 59% and this shows that Radrizzani played blind when he was able to land a large fee for the Sampdoria dud before his career took off, while also brilliantly reinvesting the money – at Bamford.