Academy boss Adam Underwood has revealed the “significant” impact that Marcelo Bielsa and his coaching staff have had on the youth system at the Yorkshire club.
Bielsa joined the club last summer and has had a huge effect on the Whites first team, taking them close to promotion in his first season in charge and having them competing at the top of the table again in the 2019/20 campaign.
However, it appears that the Argentine manager, who is known as a radical coach and a perfectionist, has had an impact throughout the club.
Speaking to LUTV, Underwood explained: “The influence of Marcelo (Bielsa) and his staff has been significant in terms of bringing our culture on and raising the bar.
“The demands are higher now than ever before for our younger players. The pleasing thing is that many have been able to meet that demand.
He added: “Our job is to be able to prepare them and I think our staff are doing a fantastic job of making that happen. That is in the players we develop but also the players we have recruited later down the line–we’re doing a great job with that.
“The challenge is to sustain it and to meet the demands of Marcelo.
“The football demands are obviously different to what we have seen before in this club and off the pitch, they (the academy players) have to be a 24-hour professional–you can’t be successful in this team unless you adhere to that and want to push.
“From my perspective, the young players are more than prepared to take on that challenge.”
It can surely only be good news for Leeds that Bielsa’s high standards are filtering through all the way down to academy level and will likely mean that young players are better prepared to make the step up to the senior side.
The Argentine coach has not shied away from utilising the academy talent that Leeds have at their disposal.
Alfie McCalmont, Leif Davis, Jamie Shackleton and Jack Clarke have all featured for the first-team this season, and will likely have roles to play as the season wears on.