International duties can be a dull affair for some players but they appear to give Ezgjan Alioski a new lease of life away from Leeds United.
The 29-year-old is a valuable member of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad and he has appeared in 27 of our 29 Premier League game this season, starting 20 of them.
But the majority of those have come as a left-back and this is a role he is not naturally suited to given his attacking tendencies.
He has still weighed in with a couple of goals, though, to offer a reminder of his attacking capabilities.
Alioski played slightly further forwards for North Macedonia on Thursday night as they lost 3-2 to Romania in World Cup Qualifying.
He impressed as a left-midfielder in a 3-5-2 formation and even picked up the WhoScored Man of the Match award with a 7.8 rating boosted by his assist for their first goal.
This assist is notable because it is the first he has made this season.
That’s right, despite Leeds scoring 45 Premier League goals, nine more than any other side in the bottom-half, Alioski has yet to lay on a goal for his teammates.
But this might not be entirely his fault.
According to statistics by Wyscout, relayed in a tweet by scouting website FIVEYARDS, only four players in the Premier League have created more chances (21) without recording an assist, and one of those is teammate Luke Ayling.
Like Ayling, Alioski has created three big chances this season without any being converted – only Wolves winger Adama Traore (five) has seen his club be more wasteful.
Players with the Most Chances Created without registering a single assist this season. ❌
— FIVEYARDS (@FIVE__YARDS) March 24, 2021
It is clear to see that Alioski’s good work is not being rewarded.
Despite playing in a deeper, more unfamiliar position, Alioski is still laying opportunities on a plate for his Whites teammates.
His assist for North Macedonia was further proof that his attacking qualities are still at large.
With six big chances created between Alioski and Ayling without a goal there is clear evidence to suggest that our marauding full-backs are being let down by those further forward.
But if they keep this form up and we start to take one or two of these chances then we will have a shot at claiming a top-10 finish.
In other Leeds United news, Gareth Southgate delivers Kalvin Phillips verdict after England outing.