With Bielsa Joining Leeds, Legendary Striker Fernando Torres Cannot be Ruled Out – by Rob Atkinson


Fernando Torres – on his way back to Elland Road?

SkyBet have suspended betting now on the question of the next Leeds United manager – the last price available on Marcelo Bielsa was, reportedly, a not altogether generous 20-1 on. If the bookies expect you to invest £20 to gain a quid, then you can bet they’re fairly certain of the eventual outcome – and now, even that price is off the table. With other sources reporting that Bielsa has been granted a work permit, it seems nailed-on that “El Loco” will be installed in the Elland Road hotseat in the very near future.

To say that this represents a change in United’s recruitment policy is hopelessly inadequate. It’s like saying that Leicester City‘s 2015 title triumph was mildly surprising, or that Harry Kewell is perhaps lacking slightly in the nobler scruples. Bielsa to Leeds is a seismic event, something that shows the club are getting seriously serious in their approach to achieving promotion to the Promised Land. As the wise Yorkshireman observed when he sampled his neighbour’s parsnip wine, “Owt could ‘appen ‘ere”.

That being the case, other stories in circulation, yarns that would normally be dismissed as too outlandish and fanciful even for Coronation Street, must now be treated a little more respectfully. In layman’s terms: if Bielsa can agree to take over at Leeds, and especially if he’s managed to get the club to grant him a big say in all footballing matters including transfers, then pretty much anything can happen now. We’re entering an alternate reality here, one for which the last decade and a half has left us totally unprepared. It is indeed a whole new ball game.

So, when rumour has it that Leeds United, at Senor Bielsa’s behest, are showing an interest in former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, now 34 but eminently capable still of tearing the Championship division a new one, then my advice would have to be: Titter ye not. Put aside your initial impulse to scoff, carp and otherwise demonstrate your scorn. A new reality is upon us, and who can say with any certainty what’s possible or probable under these radically different circumstances? Not I, and, I’d respectfully suggest, not you either.

Even now, though, with an improbability field so vast drifting around Elland Road, that you’d be forgiven for demanding a refund on your Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, some possibilities must be counted as less likely than others. Bielsa? Almost certainly. Abel Hernandez? Where else is the lad going to go? Kyle Bartley? Agent Ayling is on the case. But Torres – a legend in the truest football sense of the world – that has to be a bit more of a stretch. SkyBet, supremely confident about Bielsa, regard Torres to Leeds rather more circumspectly at 33-1. They appear to see Japan as his likely destination, with Premier League minnows Newcastle also much more highly fancied than Yorkshire’s Number One, at 12-1.

Then again, it’s at Leeds United where the nigh-on impossible stuff appears to be happening right now. It should be remembered that Torres would be the third ex-Liverpool striker to join Leeds in the last couple of decades, following on from Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler. Could we really see Fernando Torres leading the line for the Whites at Millwall and Rotherham next season? The way things are around LS11 at the moment, you’d better think twice about betting against it.

19 responses to “With Bielsa Joining Leeds, Legendary Striker Fernando Torres Cannot be Ruled Out – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Great article Rob. Regardless of what may happen this down time in the football season is a lot more fun than the last few. So please keep the optimism up. I’d rather read articles like this about my beloved Leeds than all the doom and gloom merchants on social media.

    It’s hard to believe that I’m reading in certain quarters that Bielsa will be a mistake, he doesn’t understand the championship, etc. Well maybe he doesn’t but he understands football and what it entails to be successful. And he certainly does his homework so he will know what he’s getting himself in for. If the club back him with signings, and it’s looking likely, then the sky’s the limit.

    Champions league football in three seasons time anyone? I might even come back home from Aus to have a look.


  2. Great News! welcome to Leeds Bielsa!


  3. NickB(50yrsLU)

    You mentioned Fowler, Rob; do you remember the impact he didn’t make at Leeds? Then there was that ageing Chelsea defender who didn’t guide Villa to the Premiership, and see what’s now happened to them. But, if Bielsa reckons Torres still has it, at 34, I’ll trust his superior judgment – though I’m dubious that he’d last a season of playing twice a week. Perhaps we could rotate him with Ronaldo and Bale! One thing’s definite: I shan’t make any more bets on Leeds; I’ve lost all six to date!


  4. Could you actually imagine, obviously I think it is a ridiculous name to be linked with Leeds as Torres AND Bielsa is way too good to be true. Even Vydra, Bartley and Abel seem a stretch after dealing with Pierre “Lead boots” Lassogga and Caleb “Couldn’t hit fresh air” Ekuban it just seems near impossible



  5. Crikey, sounds like Radz really might be about to light the blue touch paper.
    Beeston will be rocking and rolling!


  6. The wages Rob, the wages…..


  7. Brad Twersky

    Rob, I’m wondering if one of the clauses in this scroll-of-a-contract is
    “Thou shalt not fire me if I scream too loudly at any player”?


  8. Ausi leeds lad

    beam me up scotty I don’t believe it is it happening at Ls 11 or what get in !!! at last we might just be moving forward MOT


  9. Nothing has happened yet!
    I’ve seen euphoria before!!
    So close to someone, anyway.
    Let it be today!!!



  10. Reality Cheque

    I get the impression that you are getting pretty excited Rob just like myself, a fellow long suffering Leeds United fan. However, before you get too carried away I wish to point out that your post misses out the fact that Torres would have to displace our two current marksmen who were on fire last season and jointly bagged no fewer than THREE goals between them in an entire season!, (Grot and Ekuban).

    Don’t want to dampen your spirits too much Rob but can you seriously see Torres getting the nod ahead of them two? Titter ye not. ALAW


  11. Life is LUFC

    Rob, I believe you think it’s Christmas that is coming and we have not yet had the longest day of the year!
    Before you get too carried away let’s just get the manager first.
    Even is there is a remote chance of Torres joining our wonderful club will there be any cash left in the coffers?
    Now calm down and have a nice cuppa tea 🙂


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