Ezgjan Alioski suffered an injury while on international duty with Northern Macedonia, throwing into doubt whether he’s available for Leeds United this weekend.
Leeds welcome Arsenal to Elland Road on Sunday as they aim to end their two-match losing streak against a side they impressed against in the FA Cup last season.
However, there were concerns that Alioski, 28, might not be available as he returned from international duty early this week due to a “swelling on his hamstring”, North Macedonia manager Igor Angelovski confirmed.
Marcelo Bielsa did his pre-match press conference on Friday and although he revealed injury updates on several first-team players for the clash with Arsenal, not a word was said about Alioski.
According to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Lee Sobot, Bielsa “did not mention Alioski” – although he wasn’t asked about the North Macedonia international.
While the journalists who attended the press conference should really have asked for an update on the 28-year-old, Sobot believes the fact Bielsa didn’t mention Alioski unprompted suggests he’s available to play versus Arsenal as the Leeds manager told reporters that Pablo Hernandez off his own back.
Marcelo Bielsa did not mention Alioski though he wasn't specifically asked but he told us about Hernandez injury unprompted which suggests Alioski is okay. #lufc
— Lee Sobot (@LeeSobotYEP) November 20, 2020
It’s a tricky one.
Hernandez usually starts for Leeds so if he’s been ruled out then Bielsa is more than likely to bring that up without being prompted.
Whereas with Alioski, he’s been in and out of Bielsa’s starting line-up both this season and last.
It’s likely that the ex-Lugano ace simply slipped Bielsa’s mind, which further suggests that the journalists should have asked for an update.
It would be a bit of a blow to not have him available for selection because Alioski is such a key part of the Leeds United squad even if he is not a mainstay of the starting 11.
Alioski has unlimited reserves of energy so you know what you’re going to get out of him every time he goes onto the pitch because he simply doesn’t stop running.
And he’s not one of those players who can run for days and not offer any quality because he’s versatile enough to play on both wings or as a left-back while also able to contribute regularly towards goals.
We’re hoping that Sobot is right but we have a feeling that Bielsa might have simply forgotten to bring up Alioski’s injury.
In other Leeds United news, Alan Shearer has shared what Eddie Nketiah told him about Bielsa.