Leeds United fans love Gjanni Alioski. His tireless running, his passion on the pitch and his antics off it.
However, we think his time at the club could be coming to an end after Phil Hay revealed that Leeds have made it their top priority to sign a left-back in the summer.
Alioski has made that place his own this season thanks to injuries pulling Dallas away from the full-back role to deal with other fires. He’s made 16 starts in the Premier League – more than he would have expected – and 18 in all competitions.
He’s done a fine job, too. Alioski isn’t setting the Premier League alight but he adds real attacking threat from the left and he nearly scored one of the goals of the season against Everton.
Athletic journalist Hay claims that Leeds have ‘genuine interest’ in attacking left-back Romain Perraud, who plays in France with Brest at the moment.
They’ve needed a natural left-back since Bielsa arrived – Dallas and Alioski were always square pegs in round holes.
If not Perraud, then it’s going to be someone else and we think that could tip Alioski towards leaving in the summer.
He’s out of contract in June and free to talk to overseas clubs now about a deal that would be made more lucrative by the fact that he wouldn’t come with a fee.
Leeds want him to stay and Hay said on the latest episode of his pocast that the club is “confident” that he will sign a new deal.
But, at 28, Alioski might be sorely tempted to take the money from an overseas club, which would likely be more than Leeds would offer him.
But, it’s not just the cash that makes us think he could leave. Alioski wants to be playing regular football amid a successful international career.
He’s very likely to be on the bench full-time next season if Leeds do sign a left-back – he won’t be dislodging any of the wingers. And he could find himself as the third choice behind Dallas.
And, for that reason, while we would be sad to see him go, we’d completely understand if he left. As long as he doesn’t go to Galatasaray.
In other Leeds United news, Bielsa to hand Leeds ace first start since Oct in big change – Predicted Leeds XI v Palace