Ezgjan Alioski was dispossessed a total of 10 times in just one half after putting in one of his worst ever Leeds United performances against Brighton.
The Macedonian started at left-back, where he’s played for most of the season, but it wasn’t a memorable outing for Alioski who struggled to cope with the pace of the game before being brought off at halftime.
Not only did he lose possession 10 times, the most of any Leeds player, he also won only three of his nine attempted ground duels, and failed to complete a single cross or dribble. [Sofascore]
He gave away the penalty with a reckless challenge that saw Brighton take an early lead and that set the tone for what ended up being a disastrous performance at the Amex Stadium.
After the game, Paul Robinson was critical of the player’s performance. He said, “It’s unforgiveable. Left-back has been a problem for Leeds all season.
“Alioski has been targeted by teams all season for his defensive inability. It’s just a silly mistake. He’s gone down, he’s committed himself and he’s put his arm round Welbeck’s leg.”
Enough chances given
Robinson is right. Left-back has been a problem for us this term and we’ve looked better when Dallas, who is not an out-and-out left-back plays there.
His versatility is one of the main reasons why we’re doing so well this season, but Alioski’s constant blunders have cost us time and again.
With his contract running out at the end of the season, there is an offer on the table for the player, but he’s not signed it and looks set to leave at the end of the season.
If he is going to leave, and with just four games to go and no realistic chance of getting in Europe, surely it’s time to drop Alioski?
Bielsa has shown great loyalty to a player who is choosing to leave but Alioski’s display on Saturday betrayed that trust.
Dropping him will give Bielsa a chance to check out other players like Leif Davis and Niall Huggins.
The other option is to stick Stuart Dallas back there and give someone else a go in midfield.
With a big summer coming up, we would prefer to see players of the future getting a chance over a player who is under-performing and leaving.
The only thing we can see stopping this is Bielsa’s drive for integrity in the game and not fielding what might be seen as a weakened team while other clubs still have things to play for.
However, we’re hoping that Marcelo Bielsa decides to drop Alioski for our game against Tottenham Hotspur next week.
In other Leeds United news, The real reason Kalvin Phillips has been ruled out for Leeds clash v Brighton