Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa explains decision to allow Clarke Oduor to join Barnsley

Marcelo Bielsa says that competition for places was the deciding factor in Leeds United's decision to sell Clarke Oduor to Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 4:52 pm
Clarke Oduor (centre) made the move to Barnsley from Leeds United. (Getty)

The 20-year-old was somewhat of a surprise departure as he swapped Elland Road for Oakwell on deadline day last week in a permanent move.

He became the third Whites player to do so this summer following Aapo Halme and Mallik Wilks' transfer to the Tykes.

Oduor had been heavily involved in Bielsa's pre-season preparations for the coming campaign, bagging a seat on the plane for the tour Down Under to Australia last month.

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The utility man was also a prominent figure in Carlos Corberan's Professional Development League title-winning side last season, but had only made one competitive senior appearance before his move to South Yorkshire.

Bielsa, though, admitted that it would've been easier to keep him at Thorp Arch but opted to allow Oduor to take up an opportunity he was keen to grasp.

"We had an expectation for Clarke Oduor," Bielsa said.

"He's a player who can play as a left-back, as a number eight or as a winger. At the same time in the same position he had in front of him Douglas, Alioski, Davis, Harrison, Costa and Clarke.

"So he would've been fighting with these players to play in two positions. The easier thing for me would've been to keep the player here.

"But if I did this it would be because I am only thinking about myself, because I know he has six players in front of him.

"He wanted to take advantage of the opportunity that he had. We have similar young players who are in a similar situation that Oduor was in, but they preferred to continue here.

"It's a similar situation but resolved in another way. It's important for us to know the desire of the player."