An Ezgjan Alioski mural has been vandalised amid reports the Leeds United left-back is leaving Elland Road to join Galatasaray.
Football Insider has this week reported that the 29-year-old has agreed a pre-contract with the Turkish club with his deal at Leeds due to expire in the summer.
In 2000, Leeds fans Kevin Speight and Christopher Loftus were stabbed to death by Galatasaray supporters ahead of the Yorkshire club’s UEFA Cup semi-final clash in Istanbul.
And it seems that while that happened 21 years ago, Alioski would be less than a popular figure among some Leeds fans if he did move to the Turkish club.
In response to the speculation linking the North Macedonia international, someone has painted disgusting graffiti on an Alioski mural in Leeds.
One person, who remained anonymous, uploaded the image to Twitter with the caption: “Rat.”
The graffiti read: “Die fk Gala.”
— 😎 (@lufc2018283) March 23, 2021
*The tweet has since been deleted, below is the image that accompanied it.
While the memories of Kevin and Chris will live on through Leeds United and Galatasaray are not exactly a club we’d like to see anyone at Elland Road associating themselves with, this reaction is disgusting.
Not only does it ruin Andy McVeigh’s brilliant street art, but it also sends out a very horrible message to Alioski, who has done nothing but his best for Leeds.
If he wants to move on in the summer then we’re not going to hold it against him.
If he wants to join Galatasaray, while we’d rather he went elsewhere to avoid the controversy, we cannot hold it against him because this is about something that happened a long time ago – and perhaps before a lot of young Leeds fans were born.
Harry Kewell made himself a hate figure among Leeds fans when he joined Galatasaray in 2008. But that was different as he was someone who played for the Whites when that happened and had been at the Yorkshire club for a very long time.
Alioski has been with us since 2017 and the fact he’s from North Macedonia and spent most of his career playing in Switzerland suggests he might not even know about what happened in 2000.
Hopefully someone fixes that mural as soon as possible because it’s absolutely horrible to see.
In other Leeds United news, these two Manchester City players were blown away by one Whites teenager on Monday.