Uruguay should be the front-runner to host the centennial World Cup in 2030, according to former Uruguayan international Gus Poyet.

The South American country hosted the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1930 and went on to win their first of two World Cups on that occasion.

In 2017, the Uruguayan and Argentine football associations announced their intentions to submit a joint bid to host the 2030 edition, with fellow South American countries Chile and Paraguay subsequently joining the proposal.

Spain, Portugal, Ukraine and Morocco have launched a rival bid to host the tournament but Poyet believes that the tournament’s history should be respected.

"I thought it was natural that Uruguay could be the perfect place to play the World Cup in 2030," Poyet told Stats Perform.

"Do we have the capacity as a country to hold the World Cup? No. So it needs to be shared with someone around – Argentina, Chile or Paraguay. 

"The problem is, I used to remember a long time ago when somebody told me that football without politics has gone; it had died. We depend so much on the politics of the country.

"Until the politicians agree, football is not coming together. So I think it would be a shame if it is not in Uruguay, at least one group, maybe two groups."

A proposal has also been put forward by former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for the World Cup to be hosted every two years. The plan – backed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino – has received widespread criticism, with Poyet also opposed to the suggestion.

"I would keep it [as four years], I don't want World Cups every two years," Poyet said.

"I think becoming a world champion is difficult, it takes four years and if you don't [win it], you need to wait another four years. It is like the Olympic Games, it is not like you can have another chance in two years' time."

On the pitch, Uruguay continued their unbeaten start under new coach Marcelo Bielsa. Having won two friendlies against Nicaragua and Cuba back in June, La Celeste got their 2026 World Cup qualification campaign up and running with a convincing 3-1 defeat of Chile.

Uruguay last won the World Cup in 1950, recording three fourth-place finishes since then, but Poyet is excited by Bielsa's start and the prospects of the national team under the tutelage of the 68-year-old Argentine.

"In the first game, people went, 'Wow what is going on without the old group of players' and the second game it was a little bit more natural," Poyet said.

"Everybody is desperate to know the 25 players he is going to pick. People think they know but they don't because Marcelo Bielsa is unique and he is different, he is totally a unique case and they're going to be surprises and some deceptions as well, so I think everybody's excited and looking forward to seeing what he's going to bring to the national team."

There is "no better pairing" than Marcelo Bielsa and Uruguay, so says Ander Herrera.

Former Argentina, Athletic Bilbao and Leeds United boss Bielsa agreed to become Uruguay coach earlier this week.

The enigmatic Argentine, who was interviewed by Everton but reportedly turned the Premier League club down in January, was sacked by Leeds last year.

Bielsa is still a legend in the eyes of many Leeds fans, but is now back in work on the international scene, having taken charge of Uruguay, whose former coach Diego Alonso resigned following a group-stage exit from the World Cup in Qatar.

Ex-Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Herrera, who is now back at Athletic Bilbao, came through under Bielsa during the latter's stint in the Basque country between 2011 and 2013.

And he thinks that the combination of Bielsa and Uruguay is perfect.

Herrera told Stats Perform: "He is a coach that will be capable of getting the best from the players and as we say in Spain, he strikes a chord on his speeches.

"He connects with this sentimental aspect that the Uruguayan footballer already has for his country and national team.

"I couldn't find a better pairing than Uruguay and Marcelo for this moment of the Uruguayan national team."

Herrera loved working under Bielsa, though knows not every player will feel the same.

"He has demonstrated that he is a great coach in clubs and national teams, but I think that is true that the intensity that Marcelo [Bielsa] has, not all the players in a club can absorb it, let's say," Herrera added.

"But in my case yes, I did it with pleasure, I live for football, but you have to understand and respect the ones that take this as a profession.

"So maybe for a national team he can be ideal."

Bielsa is famous for the level of detail he goes into, not only when assessing his opponents, but also his own players.

"He doesn't do anything for nothing as we say, so if Marcelo has chosen Uruguay's project he must have studied deeply," Herrera explained.

"I am convinced that he must have watched the under-15 and the under-16 teams, all the players who could be selected and might be of help for the coming qualifying process for the next World Cup and Copa America.

"I think that with the character of Uruguayan footballers, it is a job that will fit like a hand in a glove for him."

Herrera, who sees similarities between the Basque attitude and that of Uruguayans, also had words of advice for younger players set to be coached by Bielsa.

"I would advise them to have their ears very open, try to be like a sponge because they will remember this period the rest of their lives," he said.

"For football lovers, addicts, who understand this profession as a way of life, the experience [with Bielsa] will be useful for them for the rest of their career.

"No doubt that sometimes there will be tough days, there will be days when they will really end up feeling exhausted.

"He [Bielsa] will go into detail, I am sure of this. To each of the Uruguayan players that he will call up he must have seen them 100 times, I am more than convinced."

Sean Dyche is the manager Everton have turned to as they aim to stave off relegation from the Premier League.

Everton sacked Frank Lampard last Monday following a 2-0 defeat at West Ham – the Toffees' eighth defeat in the space of nine games.

The last time Everton won a competitive match was on October 22 last year, and they find themselves in 19th place, level on points with Southampton, who are bottom only due to goal difference.

Dyche was reportedly the Merseyside club's second choice, with owner Farhad Moshiri wanting to appoint former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa, who held talks with the club's hierarchy in London on Thursday.

However, Bielsa is said to have been hesitant to join Everton in mid-season, and reports have claimed the Argentine instead suggested he would take over the club's under-21s side, with a view to managing the first team following the end of the campaign.

With survival Everton's priority, Dyche has been handed the job on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Speaking to the club's media, Dyche said: "It's an honour to become Everton manager. My staff and I are ready and eager to help get this great club back on track.

"I know about Everton's passionate fanbase and how precious this club is to them. We're ready to work and ready to give them what they want.

"That starts with sweat on the shirt, effort and getting back to some of the basic principles of what Everton Football Club has stood for for a long time... There is quality in this squad. But we have to make them shine. That's the job of me and my staff."

Dyche was sacked by Burnley in April last year, after 10 years in charge of the Clarets.

His last win at Burnley came against Lampard's Everton, and although his temporary replacement Michael Jackson had a good start, taking 10 points from a possible 12, he was unable to keep the Clarets in the division.

Everton stayed up thanks to a 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace but have won just three top-flight games this campaign, having struggled for goals following Richarlison's move to Tottenham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin's injury issues.

Dyche is reuniting with two of his Burnley regulars in the form of James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil, while he should have funds to spend in the final days of the January transfer window following the sale of Anthony Gordon to Newcastle United in a deal reportedly worth up to £45million.

The former Watford manager gained promotion with Burnley in 2014, and though they went straight back down, he took them back up to the top tier in 2016.

He established Burnley as steady competitors for the best part of six years, even qualifying for Europe in the 2017-18 campaign, and now will be tasked with maintaining Everton's long top-flight status.

Dyche took charge of 258 Premier League games at Burnley, winning 72 (27.9 per cent) and averaging 1.1 points per game.

His first game at the helm of Everton will come at home against league leaders Arsenal on February 4, with a Merseyside derby at Anfield following nine days later.

Frank Lampard has thanked Everton fans and hailed a "special club with a huge heart" after his sacking earlier this week.

Lampard was dismissed on Monday following a 2-0 defeat at West Ham, which left Everton in 19th place and level on points with Southampton below them.

Chelsea's record goalscorer Lampard joined Everton in January of last year, replacing Rafael Benitez – an unpopular and divisive figure with the Toffees' fanbase.

Lampard formed a connection with Everton's fanbase but could not avoid a relegation scrap. However, a run of three wins from Everton's final six games of the season ensured their survival, with a 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park guaranteeing their long run in the top tier continued.

The sale of talisman Richarlison in June, and the continued injury issues of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, hindered Everton this season. They have won just three times in the league, and Lampard paid the price, becoming the sixth manager to be dismissed by Farhad Moshiri since he invested in the club in 2016.

On Thursday, Lampard posted a goodbye message on his official Instagram account, with the statement also shared by the League Managers Association (LMA).

"Coming into Everton last year I knew we were in a tough moment and I will always be proud of the incredible work and support from everyone involved to keep the team in the Premier League last season," Lampard wrote.

"Thanks to everybody that played their part as the whole club came together. I will never forget the incredible night against Palace that we shared.

"I want to thank all Evertonians for the welcome that you gave to myself, my staff, and my family. It truly is a special club with a huge heart, and an incredible history.

"I'm disappointed that we couldn't achieve more together and wish all the players and everyone at Everton FC the very best for the future."

Lampard, who spent just under a year in charge, won only nine of his 38 Premier League matches, meaning his win percentage (23.7) is better than only that of Mike Walker (19.4) when it comes to Everton managers to have overseen at least 10 games in the competition. He won a further three cup matches.

 

It has been a whirlwind week at Everton. Following Lampard's dismissal, they had expected to announce the signing of Arnaut Danjuma on loan from Villarreal.

Yet Danjuma failed to complete the formalities of the transfer and instead joined Tottenham.

Owner Moshiri has denied reports that the club is up for sale, though acknowledged he is looking for investment. MSP Sports Capital, an investment firm with stakes in several European teams as well as Formula One's McLaren Racing, are reportedly interested.

Meanwhile, Everton's search for Lampard's replacement is gathering pace. Former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa flew into London on Thursday for talks with the club's hierarchy and is said to be Moshiri's first choice.

Ex-Burnley boss Sean Dyche is reportedly a reserve candidate, while Ralph Hasenhuttl, West Brom's Carlos Corberan and Davide Ancelotti, assistant to his father Carlo at Real Madrid, have also been linked.

Stats Perform understands that academy graduate Anthony Gordon has not attended training this week, with Newcastle United reportedly hoping to sign the winger.

Everton confirmed Frank Lampard's dismissal due to "recent results and the current league position" amid reports Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri wants to appoint Marcelo Bielsa.

Former Chelsea boss Lampard kept Everton in the Premier League last season with victory in their penultimate match, but they sit 19th in this campaign with 20 games played.

A 2-0 defeat to fellow strugglers West Ham on Saturday proved the final straw for Lampard, whose side had lost eight of their last nine matches in all competitions.

Everton sacked Lampard earlier on Monday but only finally announced the "difficult decision" at 8:15pm local time.

"Everyone at Everton would like to thank Frank and his coaching staff for their service during what has been a challenging 12 months," a club statement read.

"Frank and his team's commitment and dedication have been exemplary throughout their time at the club, but recent results and the current league position meant this difficult decision had to be taken.

"We wish Frank and all his backroom team well for their future in the game. The club has started the process to secure a new manager and will provide updates on the appointment in due course.

"Paul Tait and Leighton Baines will take training until a new manager is appointed."

Everton's next manager will be their seventh permanent appointment since Moshiri, who was in attendance for the defeat at London Stadium, invested into the club in 2016.

The Athletic reported Moshiri, who previously suggested Lampard's future was "not my decision", is interested in bringing in former Leeds United head coach Bielsa.

Argentine Bielsa helped Leeds to finish ninth in their first season back in the top flight in 2020-21 but was sacked in February 2022 with the Whites just two points above the relegation zone.

Ex-Burnley manager Sean Dyche has also been linked with the role, while former Everton forward Duncan Ferguson – who has had two caretaker spells at the club – is another name speculated.

Pep Guardiola labelled Kalvin Phillips a "perfect" replacement for Fernandinho as he weighed up whether to hand the England midfielder his first Manchester City start against Newcastle United.

Guardiola also revealed talks with Phillips' former Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa proved crucial to City's decision to recruit the 26-year-old.

Phillips joined City from Leeds in a deal worth up to £45million in July, but he is yet to make a first competitive start for the Premier League champions after picking up an injury in training.  

But with Phillips back to full fitness and looking to make his full debut when City visit St. James' Park on Sunday, Guardiola has revealed how he was alerted to the midfielder's quality when Bielsa was coaching him in the second tier of English football.

"He [Bielsa] spoke about him three or four years ago," Guardiola said. "He spoke about him when he was in the Championship. 

"It was the first time I realised Kalvin Phillips played for Leeds and he [Bielsa] spoke with me: 'There is a guy who is really, really good, maybe not now for Manchester City but maybe one day he can play in the top teams.' 

"After he proved Marcelo was not wrong, [he was] promoted to Premier League and national team. 

"The steps they have done is for Kalvin's and Leeds' credit. After Fernandinho decided to go to Brazil, the rest is history.

"We were looking for a holding midfielder and we thought he was perfect for us."

Phillips helped Leeds to a ninth-placed finish upon their return to the Premier League in the 2020-21 campaign, and started every match for England as they fell narrowly short of victory at Euro 2020 last year.

And the City boss is confident he will provide stern competition for Rodri in the City midfield immediately, adding: "We don't have doubts, he is a national-team England player, he was working with Marcelo Bielsa, he's British, that helps in the Premier League a lot, too. 

"Last season he had injuries and you have to be careful right now with the little disturbances he had last week, to try to avoid it in the future. I am sure he is going to adapt.

"Of course he is going to have to know some things we are doing, now is the step forward for him in that position. 

"When September starts it is a game every three days, we will need him and he will prove how valuable he is – we don't have doubts. 

"We know he is an exceptional person; that helps a lot. We knew Kyle [Walker] and John [Stones] for the feel of the English national team players, so he has settled perfectly and so quick."

Raphinha has thanked Marcelo Bielsa for setting him on the road to stardom with Barcelona and Brazil after their time working together at Leeds United.

Tricky winger Raphinha's form for Leeds in the 2021-22 campaign in particular earned him his first caps for Brazil and ultimately led to a big-money switch to Barcelona this month.

The 25-year-old contributed to 29 Premier League goals for Leeds – five more than any team-mate – with his goal involvements helping to keep them in the division last season.

Across his 19 months in England's top flight, only Tottenham's Son Heung-min (131) created more chances than Raphinha's tally of 129, highlighting his creativity.

Raphinha thrived in Bielsa's physically demanding system, and also impressed under the Argentine coach's successor Jesse Marsh in the back end of the previous campaign.

Having now cemented his place in the Brazil squad ahead of the World Cup, and hit the ground running with new club Barca, Raphinha remains indebted to Bielsa.

"He is a coach who helped me a lot from the first moment I arrived at Leeds," Raphinha told Mundo Deportivo. 

"He always demands more, always demands maximum performance. He helped me get to the national team and helped me get to Barca. 

"If it wasn't for his teachings, as a group or individually, I probably wouldn't be here."

 

Raphinha spent only one season at Sporting CP and Rennes before heading to Leeds in October 2020.

Now at a fourth club in as many years, the Porto Alegre native has already made himself a fan favourite with his winning goal in this week's friendly against Real Madrid.

"I hope it'll be the first of many Clasico goals," Raphinha said. "Being a Clasico, it gave me a unique sensation, one that's difficult to explain. It made me very happy."

Raphinha has credited former boss Marcelo Bielsa as the man who changed his career, following the winger's recent signing with Barcelona.

After protracted negotiations with Leeds United, the 25-year-old's signing was finally confirmed last Friday, joining on a five-year deal.

The transfer punctuates what has been a sudden rise to prominence for Raphinha, who spent only one season at Sporting CP and Rennes respectively before heading to Leeds in 2020.

From there under Marcelo Bielsa, the winger believes he played his best football to this date and helped him achieve a "bigger" footballing dream than once imagined.

"He was very important for me," Raphinha told Barca TV. "He got me out of France, gave me confidence, and then I managed to get to the Brazil team, with the way he made me play, he got the most out of me.

"My real dream was to play professionally in Brazil, to show my work for the Brazilian fans. I didn't get it but I had another opportunity, to stay in Europe. It was closer to my dreams, arriving here, playing in the Champions League, playing with Brazil. Today I am realising a bigger dream."

The Porto Alegre native was one of few shining lights for Leeds as they managed to stave off relegation from the Premier League last season, with Bielsa also replaced by Jesse Marsch in February.

Contributing to 29 goals in 65 Premier League appearances, and scoring in his debut on Tuesday against Inter Miami, Raphinha added he hopes to emulate compatriots who have worn the Barcelona shirt on the way to World Cup success with the Selecao.

"When the team goes well, the individual shows up, I really want to win the league, the Champions League, everything," he said.

"Individually, I have the dream of winning the World Cup with Brazil and I will stay at Barca for many years. It was a dream to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldinho and Neymar, Dani Alves too, Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, they are the Brazilian idols.

"Following in their footsteps is a huge honour for me, there are no words to explain the feelings. I always talk about Ronaldinho, because since I remember that I began to understand football, it was when Ronaldinho arrived at Barça, I always saw him play, do spectacular things."

Ernesto Valverde has secured a return to Athletic Bilbao after being appointed the club's head coach on president Jon Uriarte's first day in office.

Valverde remains a popular figure at the club following a successful second stint as the first team's coach between 2013 and 2017.

During that four-year spell, Valverde took Athletic into the Champions League, reached the final of the 2015 Copa del Rey and a few months later ended the club's 31-year trophy drought with a 5-1 aggregate defeat of Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana.

He eventually left in May 2017 to take over from Luis Enrique at Barcelona, with whom Valverde won two LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey and Supercopa before being dismissed in January 2020.

The Blaugrana have won just one trophy since.

Valverde's return for a third spell in charge of the team he also represented for six years as a player coincides with the election of Uriarte as Athletic's new president.

Uriarte's key pledge in his election campaign was to bring Valverde back as coach following Marcelino Garcia Toral's departure in May.

Former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa – who has also coached Athletic before – appeared to be Valverde's biggest rival, having reached an agreement to take over if presidential candidate Inaki Arechabaleta had won the election.

But Uriarte took 47.7 per cent of the vote compared to Arechabaleta's 33.7 per cent, with his success confirmed last week.

As such, Valverde will extend his record as the coach with the most matches managed at Athletic (306), while supporters will hope he can maintain the feat of not finishing below seventh in his last spell – they have not ended a season higher than eighth since his departure.

Ernesto Valverde, not Marcelo Bielsa, is set to become Athletic Bilbao's next coach after Jon Uriarte won the club's presidential election on Friday.

Valverde has coached Athletic on two previous occasions, from 2003 to 2005 and 2013 to 2017. No coach has overseen more games for the club than his tally of 306.

He enjoyed success with Athletic during his second spell, leading the team to Europe in each campaign and winning the Supercopa de Espana in 2015-16, beating Barcelona 5-1.

In 2017, Valverde was appointed Barca coach. He won LaLiga in his two full seasons at Camp Nou, and a Copa del Rey title in 2018, but failure in the Champions League placed him on thin ice and he was dismissed in late 2019.

The 58-year-old has since been out of work but earlier this week, Athletic presidential candidate Uriarte stated that Valverde would become the club's new coach should he win the election.

Another candidate, Ricardo Barkala, had also backed Valverde to be the coach, while Inaki Arechabaleta had chosen Marcelo Bielsa – another former Athletic coach who is fondly remembered in the Basque country.

Yet Bielsa will not be returning to San Mames just yet, and instead it is Valverde who is set to be appointed following Uriarte's victory.

Uriarte, the youngest of the three candidates at 43, is a former banker who co-founded ticket portal Ticketbis, which was sold to eBay in 2016. He won the election with 46.71 per cent of the vote.

Arechabaleta was second with a 33.72 per cent share, with Barkala coming in third (18.13 per cent).

A move to take Antoine Griezmann to Athletic Bilbao is "impossible" according to Inaki Arechabaleta, the presidential candidate who has pledged to appoint Marcelo Bielsa if he wins the club's upcoming elections.

Griezmann came through the ranks at Athletic's local rivals Real Sociedad, meaning the 2018 World Cup winner is often spoken about as a potential target for the club, who remain committed to a policy of only recruiting players hailing from the Basque Country.

Having returned to Atletico Madrid on a two-year loan deal from Barcelona last August, Griezmann struggled to tie down a regular starting spot during an injury-hit season.

He made fewer appearances in all competitions (36) than fellow forwards Angel Correa (49), Luis Suarez (45) and Matheus Cunha (37).

The 31-year-old's frustrating campaign in the Spanish capital had fuelled speculation he could be targeted by Athletic, particularly as prospective boss Bielsa attempted to sign the forward during his first spell at the club between 2011 and 2013.

But Arechabaleta says the France star's significant wages make such a move implausible at this stage.

"With Marcelo we have talked about the possibilities of signing players for Athletic and, therefore, we will be attentive to the possibilities we have to strengthen our squad," he told Spanish podcast El Partidazo de Cope.

On a potential move for Griezmann, he said: "He could be [a target] because it's part of the club's philosophy, but I think it's absolutely impossible.

"The problem is not whether Griezmann enters our philosophy. Griezmann is unattainable at the moment for salary and what you have to pay for him."

Meanwhile, Arechabaleta revealed he has been in contract with managerial target Bielsa since the immediate aftermath of his Leeds United dismissal in late February, as he prepares for the elections on June 24. 

"Marcelo is a great professional, one of the best in the world and is an asset, who joins a lot of assets that we have presented these days," he added.

"I had one of the first contacts in the month of March. The first thing he told me is that he really likes the Basque Country and Athletic, but that we should let him analyse the Spanish league and the current Athletic.

"He is a very up-to-date football genius."

Athletic Bilbao will appoint Marcelo Bielsa as their new coach if Inaki Arechabaleta becomes the club's new president following the club's elections on June 24th.

Bielsa previously coached Athletic between 2011 and 2013, and led the Basque side to the finals of the Europa League and Copa del Rey in his first season in charge.

Athletic lost both matches, however – to Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively – and a disappointing season in 2012-13 hindered by the loss of key midfielder Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente's desire to leave the club resulted in Bielsa leaving.

The enigmatic 66-year-old has been out of work since he was dismissed by Leeds United in February, after three-and-a-half years at Elland Road.

Bielsa remains a fan favourite with the Leeds faithful, with the Argentine having guided the Whites to promotion in 2019-20 and a ninth-place finish in the Premier League in 2020-21, with his full-throttle, high-pressing style garnering plenty of praise.

 

Leeds ultimately made the decision to replace Bielsa with Jesse Marsch as a relegation scrap loomed, and they only stayed up on the final day of the Premier League season thanks to a 2-1 victory at Brentford.

Now, Bielsa looks set to return to management with Athletic, should presidential candidate Arechabaleta be voted in.

Arechabaleta is one of three candidates running to replace Aitor Elizegi, and on Monday told a news conference that Bielsa was his choice to replace Marcelino, who left Athletic after the expiration of his contract.

"[Bielsa] is the most respected coach in the world. He is also a coach for the future, although in the past he gave us the best season of this century," he said, as reported by The Athletic.

"He has evolved since then and his ambition, quality and abilities are going to take us to the Athletic that we must become."

Bielsa has confirmed he will take the job should Arechabaleta be installed as president.

Eduardo Berizzo has been hired as the new head coach of the Chile national team, the Chilean Football Federation confirmed on Thursday.

Berizzo’s first coaching experience came as an assistant under Marcelo Bielsa with La Roja between 2007 and 2010, and will now be tasked with rejuvenating a team in generational transition.

Following a quarter-final finish at the 2021 Copa America, Chile finished five points off the inter-confederation playoff spot in CONMEBOL qualifying for this year’s World Cup, dismissing Reinaldo Rueda and Martin Lasarte in the process.

Berizzo is coming into this role after a disappointing tenure of his own with the Paraguay national team, where two quarter-final eliminations on penalties at Copa America tournaments in 2019 and 2021 were punctuated by an eighth-placed finish in South American qualification for this year’s World Cup.

"The Chilean Football Federation, headed by its president Pablo Milad, informs that it has reached a complete agreement with Eduardo Berizzo and his staff, so that he directs the Chilean National Team for the next process," the Chilean governing body said in a statement.

"Berizzo has had an outstanding career as a player with the Argentine national team, and as a coach he showed important steps for Estudiantes de la Plata, O'Higgins de Rancagua, a team with which he was crowned champion of Chilean soccer, and also with Celta de Vigo, Seville and Athletic from Spain. His last experience was in the Paraguayan soccer team."

La Roja will next face South Korea in the upcoming international window, before taking on Tunisia in the opening game of the Kirin Cup.

Leeds United have appointed Jesse Marsch as their new head coach.

The former RB Leipzig boss will succeed Marcelo Bielsa on a deal until June 2025, subject to international clearance.

Bielsa left the club following last weekend's 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham. It was their fourth consecutive loss in the top flight and meant they conceded 20 goals in February alone, the most in a single calendar month by any team in Premier League history.

Leeds director of football Victor Orta said: "We are delighted to welcome Jesse to the club and excited for him to lead us into this new chapter.

"Jesse is someone we identified a number of years ago during his time at Red Bull Salzburg, and we believe his philosophy and style of football aligns with that of the club and will suit the players very well.

"We have a long-term plan and firmly believe he can take Leeds United to the next level and are excited for what the future holds."

Marsch was named Leipzig boss prior to the start of the season after initially joining the club in 2018 as assistant to Ralf Rangnick.

He won the Austrian domestic double with sister club Salzburg in 2018-19, which saw him named as successor to Julian Nagelsmann at Leipzig, but the 48-year-old was sacked last December after winning just five of his first 14 Bundesliga games in charge.

Leeds face Leicester City away in their next league game on March 5.

Gary Neville believes Leeds United went from exciting to "just really bad" towards the end of Marcelo Bielsa's tenure.

Leeds parted ways with head coach Bielsa in the wake of Saturday's 4-0 home thrashing by Tottenham.

Former RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch is expected to be appointed as the club's new head coach this week.

Neville felt Leeds' dire defensive record, which has seen them ship 60 goals in just 26 Premier League outings, ultimately proved costly for Bielsa.

"There is a bit of sadness as when you went to watch Leeds you enjoyed great games but in the last few months it's become desperate," former Manchester United captain Neville said to Sky Sports.

"You go from admiration to despair when it comes to watching them. 

"They aren't exciting anymore – just really bad. And really bad defensively in the last few months, conceding so many goals and chances. 

"They have no respect for the opposition. We know Marcelo Bielsa has his values and principles which are never going to change but that has ultimately cost him."

The Spurs defeat came at the end of a dire week in which Leeds suffered a 4-2 home loss to rivals Manchester United and a 6-0 hammering by Liverpool at Anfield.

Leeds are winless in six league matches since beating West Ham in mid-January, having lost five of those games, conceding 21 goals, meaning fan favourite Bielsa's reign was brought to an end after over three-and-a-half seasons in the Elland Road dugout.

Bielsa enjoyed success, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2018-19 season, before ending their 16-year absence from the top flight by securing promotion one year later.

Upon their return to the big time, Leeds' swashbuckling style of football saw them secure a surprise ninth-place finish, but Bielsa's team found the going far harder this campaign, with injuries to key players including Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford not helping.

The defeat by Spurs marked the fourth time that Leeds have gone into half-time of a Premier League match three goals behind this season. 

Only Watford, who did so five times in 2016-17, have ever done so more in a single season in the competition.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani called parting ways with Bielsa the "toughest decision" he has made since buying the club in 2017, but felt he had to act with Leeds now just two points above the relegation zone.

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