Marcelo Bielsa has praised Barry Douglas as he moved to explain why he’s allowed the 31-year-old to leave Leeds United.

Leeds have announced Douglas’ departure today, with the left-back joining Blackburn Rovers on loan.

The decision has been a tough one to make, with an emotional Bielsa addressing it in this afternoon’s press conference.

Douglas departs Leeds after two seasons and 45 appearances. He leaves a Championship Champion and with the club in the Premier League.

Bielsa has been quizzed on Douglas this afternoon on the back of his departure. The 65-year-old has detailed a passionate response (Leeds Live) and revealed the headaches he’s faced.

It makes me very sad he has left our team because during the two years he has been with us he has made a significant contribution. He’s an impeccable professional. He’s a very respected member within the team. In the position of left-back I opted for Dallas, Alioski and Davis ahead of Douglas. They’re decisions I have to make. For me, they have been very difficult.

Douglas deserved to try and fight at Leeds. He gave his all to achieve this. In this case I wasn’t able to help him enough for him to consolidate himself within out team. He’s a player who has given many, many efforts to give the right responses. I regret a little he was not able to triumph with us. 

Douglas moves onto a Blackburn side chasing the play-offs and promotion in the Championship. For Leeds, they move onto Wolves on Monday evening.

There’s not much left to be said about Douglas than what Bielsa is saying.

The left-back is a top professional and, above all else, a superb person that deserves our best as he moves on.

Bielsa hasn’t taken this decision lightly and you’ve got to imagine that in a perfect world he would have retained the Scot.

All we can do is wish Douglas the best. I hope he wins another promotion with Blackburn. He’s joining an exciting project and Ewood Park and deserves all the luck in the world.