Chris Wilder has claimed that Leeds United are a “huge club” and the Premier League would love to see them back in the top-tier, ahead of tomorrow’s clash between the Whites and his Sheffield United side.
Leeds have been out of the Premier League since 2004, but this year, under Marcelo Bielsa, they are fighting to return to the top table of English football heading into the final nine games of the season.
Alongside Leeds in that race is Wilder’s Sheffield United, with tomorrow’ clash at Elland Road looking like it will go a long way in deciding who is playing Premier League football next season.
And, Wilder has been full of praise for Leeds ahead of his side’s trip to Elland Road.
“Historically, they are a huge club and should be in the Premier League, but it doesn’t work that way,” Wilder told the Yorkshire Post. “The Premier League, without being controversial, would probably love to see them in there.
“You go to Elland Road and there is a picture of them playing at the Nou Camp. That was not that long ago. But then Simon (Grayson) came in, by then they were in the third tier. It has happened to Sheffield Wednesday, it has happened to us.
“But they are a club on the up. Bielsa has sprinkled his magic dust through being an outstanding manager. If you look at his CV it is not too shabby. He has worked at national level and for some of the most powerful clubs in Europe and abroad.”
The reverse fixture will have left a bitter taste in Wilder’s mouth, with Leeds winning 1-0 at Bramall Lane.
Heading into the latter stages, the game looked destined for 0-0, but Dean Henderson’s late mistake allowed Jack Clarke to square for Pablo Hernandez, who secured a big three points for Leeds back in December.
However, the Blades used that defeat as a catalyst to maintain their promotion push, with Wilder’s side heading to Elland Road this weekend on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run.
There’s little debate that Leeds are a big club who would add a lot to the Premier League, particularly in terms of atmosphere.
However, they’ve got to earn that right to get there and promotion isn’t guaranteed because of the size of your club.
Picking up results in games like tomorrow is going to go a long way in deciding whether this year is the time for the Whites to return.
Thoughts? Let us know!