Luke Ayling says goodbye “cuddle”Marcelo Bielsa


Luke Ayling admitted that he didn’t know Jesse Marsch when he took over as Leeds boss from Marcelo Bielsa.

American Marsch was named last month following a string of four consecutive defeats which saw Bielsa dismissed. Ayling, Leeds’ captain, said that he needed to research Marsch as he’d never heard about the former Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig manager.

Ayling said: “No. I can’t say I did know him. I’m not massive on football outside of England, if I’m telling the truth. But once you hear he’s going to be involved, you take a look at the clubs he’s been at. He’s worked his way through the Red Bull scheme, so they think highly of him. He obviously knows what he’s doing.”

Ayling had a strong relationship with Bielsa, and admits that it was difficult to say goodbye to the Argentine. The defender said: “I was shocked and surprised (when he left). But that’s football, it can be harsh. It happens all the time.

“When he first arrived, we were Championship players. He turned us into Premier League stars. We will be forever grateful to him. It was very emotional. It was emotional.

Bielsa was a Leeds icon, but it wasn’t enough to save him from the sack.

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“There were a few tears. It was horrible. He’s gone back home to Argentina now, so the saddest part is not knowing if we’ll ever see him again. The memories I will take from him come from when we got promoted.

“The next morning, we all met at the training ground. He was then driven to work. We were all singing his name, and I will always remember his smile. It was a feeling of happiness that we all shared.

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