Bissouma: I have a lot of respect for Bielsa

The Mali international looks back on his time working under the former Lille boss.

By Luke Nicoli • 01 May 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Yves Bissouma in action for Albion.

Marcelo Bielsa is a 'super coach' according to Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma.

The 24-year-old played under the now Leeds head coach at French top-tier side Lille, where he underwent a tough transition in terms of culture, both on and off the pitch, and in his second year, new coach Bielsa saw the youngster more as a right-back than a central midfielder.

“I respect him a lot, he is a super coach who has done so much in the game, but it was tough for me,” Bissouma recalls. "I am always happy to play for my team, wherever I am needed, but this was seen as more of a longer-term role by him.


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“I didn't see myself in that position and it was something we never agreed on, so it was difficult for me although I always did my best.”

Bielsa's tenure was a brief one and having been restored to his central berth, Bissouma went on to make 55 appearances, scoring four goals, in two seasons with the club.

"Once I played again in my more natural position, I felt more comfortable on the pitch and got stronger. But every coach has different opinions and I respect all my coaches.

“Bielsa has achieved so much and is now doing so much for Leeds."