Marcelo Bielsa's verdict as Leeds United's Under-23s secure Premier League 2 title and promotion

The Whites will be playing in the Premier League 2 top flight next season.

By Joe Urquhart
Friday, 16th April 2021, 9:53 pm
Leeds United's Under-23s celebrate promotion. Pic: LUFC
Leeds United's Under-23s celebrate promotion. Pic: LUFC

Leeds United's Under-23s have secured the Premier League 2 Division Two title along with promotion.

The Whites needed just a point at Aston Villa on Friday night to earn a spot in England's top academy division.

Mark Jackson's side have been in scintillating form this season, blowing the rest of the competition away.

Leeds have won 17 out of their 22 games this term - including a stunning nine-match winning streak from mid-November until early March.

Rising academy starlet Joe Gelhardt has led from the front, bagging 11 goals in league action while Sam Greenwood has found the back of the net on nine occasions.

United's 2-1 win over Villa saw them crowned champions with second-placed Stoke City unable to now catch them.

Jackson has led the Whites to the title in his first season as Under-23s head coach amid the club's debut campaign as an elite academy following last summer's boost in status.

Leeds will now face the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton next year alongside a meeting with arch rivals Manchester United at development level.

Marcelo Bielsa gave his reaction to the achievement in his pre-Liverpool press conference on Thursday.

"I give a lot of value to the work that the current manager has and the group," Bielsa said.

"Especially taking into account that the under-23s is a constant help for the first team. This means their coach has to accommodate his plans depending on the needs of the first team.

"This weakens the programme of work that the under-23s can have. Within that scenario, that is not the ideal one. Their coach and players have contributed in a very, very valuable way."