It is hard to find a Leeds United fan who doesn’t love Ezgjan Alioski.
Ever since joining Leeds from Lugano in 2017, the 28-year-old has been one of the most charismatic players at the club.
Whenever the Whites’ official social media accounts upload behind-the-scenes videos from matchdays and training, you can guarantee that Alioski will be there doing something to make you laugh.
However the North Macedonia international has dropped down the pecking order for Marcelo Bielsa this season with him earning just 18 starts in the Championship.
Alioski is rarely hit by injury and fitness issues but has simply lost his place and only really fills in when there is an injury to one of Bielsa’s regular starters.
According to transfermarkt, the ex-Young Boys player has made 18 appearances at left-back and 13 appearances on the left-wing this season.
He is a handy player to have due to his versatility, energy, personality and the fact he rarely gets injured but is he good enough for the Premier League?
If Leeds win promotion this season, then a number of players in Bielsa’s current squad are going to have their situations assessed and the stats do not make promising reading for Alioski.
Although Alioski’s a full-back/winger, stats by WhoScored show he ranks seventh in the squad for the average number of crosses completed per Championship game this season [0.4]. Pablo Hernandez and Mateusz Klich have occupied central roles most of the campaign and both of them rank higher than the North Macedonian.
He’s only assisted two league goals this term – the same number as centre-back Ben White – and ranks as low as 12th in the squad for average dribbles per league game [0.4].
How is it possible that Liam Cooper [0.5] has averaged more dribbles than pacey wide-man Alioski?
We love Alioski, we really do, but the stats do not make the best reading for someone who plays in his position.
However what the stats do not show is how much of a presence Alioski has in the Leeds squad. You can guarantee that he is one of the more popular members of Bielsa’s team and his work-rate and energy levels are second to none in the entire Championship.
If Bielsa told Alioski to run through a brick wall for him, he would.
And that is why the loveable winger should be in the Leeds squad for the foreseeable future.
In other Leeds United news, the EFL have agreed a plan with the government.