Could Bielsa's Oduor comments help explain Hugo Diaz's Leeds exit?

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa and his staff watch on during the first half during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on August...

Plenty of Leeds United supporters were surprised when Clarke Oduor's departure was announced on transfer deadline day.

Clarke Oduor of Leeds United looks on during the match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Leeds United at Bankwest Stadium on July 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.

While Clarke Oduor may have only made one competitive appearance for Leeds United's first-team, the majority of the Elland Road faithful would have been pleased to hear Marcelo Bielsa asked about the club's decision to sell the youngster on transfer deadline day.

The deal to let Oduor join Barnsley permanently caught many Whites fans off-guard with many expecting the left winger to break into Bielsa's first-team plans at some stage during this campaign.

 

But Bielsa explained, in comments reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, that while he wanted Oduor to stay, it would not have been right to not give the 20-year-old the chance to move if he wanted to go, especially with so many players vying for the positions in the side that Oduor would have set his sights on.

Bielsa opening the door for any youngsters to consider leaving if their paths to the first-team are blocked is a commendable stance given the amount of talent that appears to be within the under-23 ranks at Thorp Arch. 

And perhaps his comments on Oduor help explain the thinking behind another departure that attracted attention earlier in the summer.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa and his staff watch on during the first half during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on August...

Hugo Diaz was arguably one of the most impressive performers in Carlos Corberan's squad last season, and he was a player who had had a taste of first-team football at Leeds, having made his debut away at Preston North End during Paul Heckingbottom's time in charge.

With the holding midfield position arguably the most important role in Bielsa's system, many were anticipating that Diaz, like Oduor, could be in line to be involved with both the first-team and under-23s this season.

But it was announced towards the end of June that Diaz would be leaving Elland Road on a free transfer this summer, and just over a month later, he completed a move to Getafe.

General views of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on December 03, 2016 in Leeds, England.

Of course, the situation is different to Oduor's in that Diaz appears to have been released rather than be sold. But perhaps his exit came about because he had been informed that his chances of getting the amount of game-time that he would want were slim due to the number of players Bielsa deemed to have been ahead of him in the pecking order.

Keeping Diaz looked to be the best decision for Leeds given that he appeared to make major progress last season. But perhaps the comments on Oduor hint that Bielsa decided that it was not necessarily the right thing to do when the 22-year-old was going to face a fight to get in at centre-back or holding midfield.

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