Leeds United’s head coach Marcelo Bielsa has paid tribute to Swansea City ahead of Wednesday night’s Championship clash at Elland Road – but admitted that the South Wales giants haven’t quite lived up to expectations this season.
Leeds have played arguably the most eye-catching football in the Championship since the veteran Bielsa took over at Elland Road, frequently dominating possession with technically gifted players like Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez at the forefront.
So it is no surprise that Bielsa, one of the game’s infamous purists, is a fan of a side who were once dubbed ‘Swansealona’ for their commitment to an attractive, passing style.
"For me Swansea is a big team,” said the former Argentina and Chile boss.
“It is a team that hasn’t used its full potential so far and a team that has a counter-culture.
“They have players who are very good with the ball and I like how Swansea play.”
Bielsa is probably right about Swansea failing to live up to their ‘potential’ after returning to the Championship this season. They are eleventh in the table as things stand, seven points adrift of the play-off places.
But that is not all Potter’s fault. The former Ostersunds boss has been forced to mould a squad reliant upon the form of many young academy graduates with Swansea failing to replace the majority of their star players in recent seasons.