Marcelo Bielsa on what he has currently at Leeds United, the January transfer window and Victor Orta

Marcelo Bielsa is currently content with his lot as Leeds United head coach but, if any needs crop up between now and January, he will put his trust in Victor Orta.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 8:45 am

The Argentine waxed lyrical this week about the working conditions he and his squad enjoy at Thorp Arch, thanks to club owner Andrea Radrizzani.

Bielsa appreciates the investment in the less glamorous, behind-the-scenes facilities that grant Leeds United marginal gains and make life as idyllic as it can be for a set of human beings being told what to eat, where to run and how fast.

It is not always the case in football that the infrastructure of a club, the details – and Bielsa is every inch a details man – are taken care of by those controlling the purse strings.

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“The owner of the club has shown a lot of generosity about everything,” said Bielsa.

“Today the club has a very good group of players, young and experienced as well. There is a good balance between young and experienced players.

“We cannot think in better conditions, better facilities we have now.

“The club treats the players for their professional work in a way that is difficult to improve.

Bielsa says Orta will have options for him if a need arises

“I don’t have a different idea to bring but simply I always try to work in the best way we can, with the best resources possible. For this reason I mention the investment the club have made, so footballers and the staff work in ideal conditions.

“Every worker here in the club, the staff, the fitness staff, the chefs, nutritionists, how our people take care of the pitches, cleaning at the training ground, security, all the things you can’t see, there is a lot of work here and investment.

“It is not normal that the owner of the club doesn’t invest in things you cannot see.”

Bielsa’s gratitude extends to the club’s director of football, Orta.

The Spaniard has described his role a number of times as simply fulfilling the specific needs of a manager, giving Bielsa the tools he needs, supplying a table, when a table is required, and not a lampshade, a recruitment scenario Rafa Benitez once complained about at Valencia.

Orta has previously revealed that the pair speak on a daily basis about what is or might be needed when it comes to recruitment.

Bielsa is famed for his preference for a small squad and has, to date, been happy to rely on the talent coming through the club’s academy to bolster his selection options when necessary.

There are, on the evidence of a Championship table that shows them sitting second and a three-game winning streak, few areas in desperate need of strengthening.

Bielsa has options in the wide areas, in the number 10 role, in midfield and in every position across the back.

An injury to Eddie Nketiah and the possibility, however slight, that Arsenal may recall the striker in January, and the FA racism charge hanging over Kiko Casilla’s head, could present problems that only outside help can solve.

But Bielsa appears content and calm.

He believes he has a similar number of options to choose from as last season, but his men are more versed in his ways, defending better and making fewer mistakes.

This week he gave an appreciative nod in the direction of the work Orta has done since they began their professional relationship at Elland Road and, with the January transfer window beginning to come into view, gave a resounding vote of confidence in the director of football and his ability to plug any gaps that appear, an ability underpinned by the constant analysis being done by Orta and his team.

Orta’s own recent interviews and public appearances have all contained not-so-subtle hints as to his personal feelings on the mid-season transfer window.

The quantity and often the quality of players available in January are not generally to his taste, the summer is when he likes to do the vast majority of his recruiting work.

“January is not my favourite period, because of the availability of the players,” he said on the Training Ground Guru podcast.

“They could have a problem in terms of physical or contract.

“The market is really reduced. I don’t believe a lot in the winter market.”

If January does arrive and Leeds do have to go to the market, Bielsa believes Orta will come back with the goods.

“[He has] brought new players to try to bring more quality,” said the head coach.

“Victor Orta is working with that [the window], he always has information about this.

“If we have any needs, I am sure Victor and the club is in good condition to bring us solutions.

“It has always been like that since we started working here, in the sense that for one problem you have one recommendation, one possible solution we have analysed a lot and is possible.

“Some players fit to the style of the team and, in this sense, Victor Orta and his group are always making good recommendations for us.

“But, if you have a need, it is not now. You will have it closer to this time.

“Five weeks is a short period to try to find solutions but to realise which need you have it is a long period.

“So if any needs appear, Victor and his group they have possible solutions in case we need them.”