When a manager gives a player his professional debut, bringing him from the reserves into the first-team and making him an important piece of your plans, the relationship between the two remains strong.
This, in essence, is what happened between Ibai Gomez, currently at Alaves, and Marcelo Bielsa, now managing Leeds.
Sport Witness understands, confirming the original information from Goal, that offers were made by the Championship club over the summer for the winger, whose contract with the La Liga side is set to expire next summer.
In the end, Gomez was the one who decided to stay in Spain for the current campaign, and has so far helped Alaves climb to third in La Liga, scoring three goals in nine appearances.
However, Sport Witness has also learnt the 28-year-old would be very interested in a move to England in the future, where a reunion with Bielsa, who still values what the player has to offer, could be on the cards should he decide to leave his club on a free in 2019.
That decision will depend entirely on what other offers are when the time comes, but Sport Witness understands Leeds’ history and status in English football, as well as the player’s relationship with Bielsa, do play in their favour, still giving them a chance even if they fail in their promotion bid.
To understand the relationship between Bielsa and Gomez, we need to go back to the 2011-2012 season when the pair were both at Athletic Club, at which point the Argentine plucked the forward from the reserves midway through the campaign and often brought him on off the bench as an impact sub.
That quickly evolved into him starting regularly, doing so in both the Europa League and Copa del Rey finals that year.
He continued to grow under Bielsa the following season, playing 35 times in the league, but as soon as the now Leeds manager left in 2013, his game time was reduced and injuries led to a move to Alaves on a free in 2016.
A reunion with his former manager would certainly be a nice way to try something new in a different country, already aware of the rigorous demands the Argentine has for his players.
Only time will tell.