Incoming Leeds boss Bielsa's big mistake could haunt England at World Cup

Tunisia's midfielder Naim Sliti eyes the ball during a football match between Tunisia and Turkey at the Stade de Geneve stadium in Geneva on June 1, 2018. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI

Tunisia dangerman Naim Sliti could haunt England.

Marseille's Argentinian head coach Marcelo Bielsa looks on during the French L1 football match between Girondins de Bordeaux (FCGB) and Marseille (OM) on April 12, 2015 at the Chaban-...

Leeds United are closing in on appointing Argentine boss Marcelo Bielsa, with SkySports last week reporting talks are at an advanced stage.

Bielsa has a terrific reputation, but his last spell at Lille lasted just a matter of months and did not go well.

One of his biggest errors was around Naim Sliti, one of Tunisia's most dangerous players who England will have to look out for next week.

Tunisia's midfielder Naim Sliti eyes the ball during a football match between Tunisia and Turkey at the Stade de Geneve stadium in Geneva on June 1, 2018. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI

Sliti, 25, was one of three first team players controversially told by Bielsa early on that he had no future at Lille.

He was sent on loan to Ligue 1 rivals Dijon, and helped them finish 11th, above Lille who ended the season down in 17th.

Sliti scored seven goals and provided six assists this past season, which included an impressive brace against Lyon in April.

Adrien Silva of Portugal competes for the ball with Naim Sliti of Tunisia during the international friendly football match against Portugal and Tunisia at the Municipal stadium de Braga on...

He finished the season strongly and is a regular for Tunisia, who face England in their opening World Cup group game.

Sliti was critical of Bielsa for discarding him, telling Le10Sport: "He did not look me in the eye when he spoke to me."

The Tunisian has proven Bielsa wrong and starring at the World Cup will further highlight this.

The Argentine was sacked last November by Lille and is looking for a fresh start with Leeds.

He has a well earned reputation as a tactical innovator, but his Sliti decision is a clear example of where he does not get everything right.

 

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch