By Craig Scott

29th Jul, 2021 | 8:10am

Kalvin Phillips and Pontus Jansson react as Gjanni Alioski bids Leeds United farewell

Kalvin Phillips and Pontus Jansson are among the players who have reacted on Instagram to Ezgjan Alioski’s farewell message to Leeds United.

Alioski, 29, rejected the chance to sign a new deal with Leeds earlier this summer when his contract at the club expired.

He’s been a much-loved member of the squad over the last few years, being one of Victor Orta’s first additions at Elland Road and playing a vital role in our Championship-winning season and first campaign back in the Premier League.

After posting a heartfelt video message on Instagram, in which he thanked the Leeds fans, Marcelo Bielsa, Andrea Radrizzani, Orta and his teammates, the likes of Phillips and ex-Leeds star Jansson replied.

Phillips said: “Aww man. Miss you already, good luck brate (brother).”

Jansson replied: ” Bro, you are an unbelievable player and person. Love you so much. Tre fratelli (three brothers), all of us now checked out.”

Orta’s best signing in his first summer?

Cast your minds back to the summer of 2017.

Radrizzani had not long become the outright owner of Leeds United, Orta had been hired as his director of football and Thomas Christiansen had come in as manager.

We were all excited, especially when the club pushed on with transforming the squad.

However, looking back at Orta’s first summer in charge of transfers, it was an absolute mess.

While the likes of Alioski, Jansson and Mateusz Klich were brought in on permanent deals, we also saw the infamous signings of Felix Wiedwald, Vurnon Anita, Caleb Ekuban, Ousaim Bouy, Jay-Roy Grot and Pawel Cibicki.

Some of those names still make us shudder.

January didn’t get much better for Orta as he added Yosuke Ideguchi and Laurens De Bock to the squad before replacing Christiansen with Paul Heckingbottom.

It was an absolutely awful year of recruitment at Elland Road.

But there were some golden nuggets in that recruitment drive, and one of them being a golden-haired winger from North Macedonia who signed from Swiss club Lugano.

Alioski went on to make 171 appearances in all competitions for Leeds, helped us win promotion back to the Premier League and then, as a left-back, helped us stay in the top-flight by achieving a ninth-placed finish.

He’s a modern-day hero and one who deserves to utmost respect from Leeds fans across the world.

As much as it was the right time for him to move on, we’re going to miss the crazy blonde bombshell.

In other Leeds United news, Trevor Sinclair has hailed this “excellent” player wanted by the Whites.