Marcelo Bielsa’s desire to develop his team is what makes him a great manager.
The likes of Stuart Dallas, Luke Ayling, and Kalvin Phillips were all mid-table championship players before El Loco arrived, but now they’re looking like bona fide Premier League stars. There is, however, one player who has gone backward under his tutelage.
Unfortunately, this is Barry Douglas we’re talking about.
The Scot arrived at Elland Road with one heck of a reputation, having helped 14 and scored five in Wolves’ amazing promotion season, but he hasn’t come close to those kinds of numbers since then.
He’s only had five assists in two seasons since he joined Leeds, though he’s still looking for his first club goal.
The most disappointing thing about Douglas’ decline is that we know how successful he can be, and if he repeated his Wolves form, he would be left-back in the Premier League caliber. However, that hasn’t happened for one reason or another.
It’s rare for Bielsa to fail when it comes to bringing out the best in a player, but with Douglas, he just couldn’t find the key to unlock his potential. Now that the defender is set to go to the loan with his deal expiring in 2021, we may never see his best at Leeds.
Perhaps his incredible Wolves season was more of a tribute to Nuno Espirito Santo’s managerial abilities than his tenure at Leeds was a knock on Bielsa’s, but one thing is for sure, he’s regressed since he joined the Whites.