MOT View: Dallas comments prove he is true Leeds hero this season
Ask any Leeds United fan who player of the season has been so far and you’ll likely get one of two answers – Ben White or Kalvin Phillips.
For what it’s worth, we think it’s White. He’s been a hero at the back for Leeds and has been the one constant in a defence that’s only conceded nine goals in 16 games. That’s a Championship-winning defensive record.
However, if there was an unsung hero award it would have to go to Stuart Dallas.
He’s played ten times at right-back, where he helped keep five clean sheets and scored a goal against Stoke.
When Luke Ayling came back from injury he was shunted into midfield where he played centrally and on the right.
Then, with Ejgjan Alioski out he played at left-back against Blackburn.
Having a player as versatile as Dallas is great for a manager, effectively giving you strength in depth across a number of positions in your team. And Dallas isn’t a slouch in any of the positions he’s played.
In the ten games he played at left-back he hit five ratings above a seven from WhoScored and didn’t dip below a 6.3.
In the five games at midfield, he scored between 6.45 and 7.02, and then got a 6.71 at left-back against Blackburn.
The consistency is incredible and he’s doing the same for his country, although he managed four positions in one game in the 0-0 draw against the Netherlands.
However, being the player that’s pushed around wherever the fire is taking hold has its drawbacks and Dallas is aware of them.
Talking to the official Leeds website he said, “It does benefit if you have somebody who can play in different positions. Sometimes it can work against you because you don’t get stuck in that one position where you can play week in week out and get used to it.
“It’s a big change for me going into central midfield, it’s not somewhere I’ve played before or my strongest position, but if the manager wants me to play there, I will play it to the best of my ability. I’m not going to be a world-beater, but I’ll give it a go and if it means playing, that is what it is all about.”
They’re the words of a true team player.
Dallas has proved that he’s absolutely invaluable for Leeds. But what happens when Alioski is back? Does he slot back into the left-back position and leave Dallas hoping for an opening elsewhere? The Leeds midfield will close up when Adam Forshaw comes back.
That’s tough for Dallas who just wants to play. Team is first, though, and every successful side would benefit from having a player as heroic on the pitch as Dallas is magnanimous off it.
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