Marcelo Bielsa is a great coach. He is not only a brilliant tactician but has shaped the careers of so many young players who have gone on to become established stars.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is one such player who has richly benefitted under the tutelage of Bielsa. The Chelsea and Spain goalkeeper has credited the Leeds United boss for playing a huge role in shaping his career.
The 24-year-old started his youth career at Basque club Athletic Bilbao. He came through the youth system at the club and was first introduced to the first-team squad at the age of 16 by then boss Joaquin Caparros.
Bielsa succeeded Caparros at San Mames in 2011, and played a key role in Arrizabalaga’s development as a goalkeeper. He gave him regular opportunities at the club and helped him grow as a footballer.
Arrizabalaga has credited Bielsa for playing a huge role in his career, and feels that getting an opportunity at such a young age was the turning point in his career.
“I was only 16 when I was involved with the first team and I learnt a lot from trainers such as Joaquín Caparros and Marcelo Bielsa,” said Arrizabalaga, as quoted by Leeds Live.
“The fact I joined the first team at such young age meant it was a major turning point. It meant I had to mature much quicker and then there was the opportunity given to me by Ernesto Vervelde.”
He became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea for £71.6m in the summer.