Last season ended in heartbreak for Leeds United. Despite spending most of the season in the top two they failed to make automatic promotion, then crashed out of the play-offs to Derby County despite being favourites to progress.
But Marcelo Bielsa signed on for another year, and they bounced back to go one better in 2019/20. Now, after 16 years of waiting, Leeds are back in the Premier League.
The manner in which Leeds lost to Derby in the semi-final last season led many to question what their mental state would be like at the start of this season, but all doubts were answered immediately and emphatically.
Leeds romped to a tally of 16 points from their opening seven games, and have only ended seven gameweeks in the entire campaign outside of the top five. Since mid-November they haven’t dropped out of the top two once.
Serious eyebrows were raised in the summer when Pontus Jansson, a crucial centre-back and cult hero at Elland Road, was allowed to leave for Brentford with seemingly no replacement.
The only centre-back arrival was a virtually unknown 21-year-old on loan from Brighton, who had spent the best part of the past two campaigns on loan in League Two with Newport, then League One with Peterborough.
Bielsa, naturally, knew what he was doing, and Ben White has emerged as arguably the best centre-back in the Championship. Leeds will be desperate to keep hold of him for next season.