Marcelo Bielsa was a key figure in helping Leeds United return to the Premier League and he was also instrumental in helping the Whites finish ninth in the table this season, just below Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
Prior to arriving at Elland Road, he had short spells at Lazio and Lille. He was with the Serie A side for just two days in July 2016, while he spent a few months with the French club in 2017.
The Italian capital club announced the Argentine as Stefano Pioli’s successor on July 6th, 2016, only for Bielsa to leave the Biancocelesti two days later.
The current Leeds manager, however, had plans to take a few players to Lazio, and among them was Florian Thauvin. This is now confirmed by the Frenchman himself.
Thauvin was then owned by Newcastle United, having joined them from Marseille in the summer of 2015. He rejoined the French club, initially on loan in January 2016. Later that year, his loan stay was extended for the 2016/17 season, before he signed for Marseille on a permanent deal in 2017.
“It was either I was going back to Marseille or I was going to Lazio. To join Marcelo Bielsa, where he never came,” Thauvin was quoted as saying by Le10 Sport.
“He said to me: ‘Flo, you have to take the plane, you have to go sign, the club is waiting for you’. I said to him: ‘Ok, Marcelo, you haven’t arrived yet, I’m waiting for you to arrive to go’. And finally, luckily, I didn’t go because he never came.”