Marcelo Bielsa admits he wanted to develop some of Sheffield United’s tactics at Leeds United.
The Whites head coach was speaking ahead of the Yorkshire derby between the two clubs on Saturday.
Bielsa is regarded as one of the finest tactical minds in football and has influenced the likes of Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Diego Simeone.
In fact Guardiola flew to South America to speak to the Argentine before taking over at Barcelona to seek his advice.
Yet is is Chris Wilder and his Blades team that Bielsa has been taking a close look at since arriving in England.
“I would say the Sheffield United head coach is someone with new ideas and I have seen very few people with these ideas,” the 63-year-old said in his pre-match press conference.
“Head coaches look at colleagues to learn from them and we want to learn new things, not what everyone else is doing.
“Usually when you observe someone, you don’t observe what you see everyday, you observe new things. The ideas of our next opponent deserve to be studied.
“I saw things in Sheffield United that I wanted to develop and I couldn’t do it. I don’t know the history of the head coach, but he has done very well.”
Leeds copying Sheffield United?
Bielsa doesn’t specify which tactics he saw at United that he wanted to emulate. However, the man credited with introducing the 3-3-3-1 formation is clearly open to new ideas.
What may have caught Bielsa’s eye is Wilder’s development of the overlapping centre-backs. In the Blades’ 3-4-1-2 system both the right and left sided central defenders push forwards.
In fact, on several occasions Chris Basham is often the furthest man up the pitch. This tactic has taken hours on the training ground to perfect and is a true Wilder original.
Will it be enough to secure all three points at the weekend?