Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa voices regret over Samuel Saiz departure

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Marcelo Bielsa voiced regret over Samuel Saiz’s shock departure from Leeds United but said he accepted the decision to let him leave after Saiz secured a loan move to Getafe.

Bielsa described the midfielder as a player with “a lot of value to me”, admitting he “can’t say it doesn’t matter”, but the Argentinian insisted he trusted United’s judgement in allowing Saiz to go.

Leeds United playmaker Samuel Saiz.

Leeds United playmaker Samuel Saiz.

Saiz will join La Liga club Getafe on a half-season loan on January 1 having passed a medical on Monday.

Leeds, who believe the 27-year-old has played his last game for them, are allowing Saiz to stay in Spain with his pregnant partner until the transfer officially begins.

Last week Saiz asked to quit Elland Road after 18 months at United, saying he was unsettled in England and keen to return to his home city of Madrid. His agent confirmed to the YEP that a “personal problem” had motivated him to seek a switch to Spain.

Bielsa used Saiz heavily in the early stages of the season before relegating him to the bench but said the playmaker’s role in his squad had underlined his importance. Saiz started in his final appearance, a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers two weeks ago.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

“I gave my opinion by the time I gave him as a player,” Bielsa said. “He played 80 per cent of the competition and he left the club being a starter. He was a player who had a lot of value for me.

“I can’t say it doesn’t matter he left. This is my first point. My second point is that I didn’t ask Samu Saiz to leave. I never talked with him regarding his desire to leave the club but in the club there are people I trust very much who evaluated the situation.

“They took the decision they thought was the right one. I don’t agree and I don’t disagree with the decision taken but honestly I trust absolutely the people who take these decisions.

“These arguments I’m giving you, those who take these decisions took them into account. But taking into account arguments doesn’t mean you impose the arguments.”

Bielsa, who hinted that Saiz’s exit might heighten the likelihood of arrivals in the January transfer window, claimed he was confident of negating the impact of the Spaniard’s exit.

Leeds had hoped to see on-loan Chelsea midfielder Izzy Brown emerge and step in for Saiz but Brown, who is in the final stages of recovering from ACL surgery, is out for up to a month with a hamstring strain.

“What I can’t tell you is that I made it easier (for Saiz to leave) or I don’t care if he left,” Bielsa said. “I say that because we have a responsibility to the people who make opinions on our decisions.

“It was a difficult situation to solve and I have absolute trust in those who made the decision. I’m sure they know my arguments and with optimism we think we can find a solution to his absence.”