Leeds United are in desperate need of a natural left-back, and Gjanni Alioski’s latest performance was proof of that.
Leeds haven’t had a natural left-back in the starting lineup consistently ever under Marcelo Bielsa.
Barry Douglas’ arrival in Bielsa’s first summer outlined his eagerness to add in that area, but he failed to make any sort of impact.
Now, in the Premier League, it’s still a case of square pegs in round holes.
Alioski’s day to forget
Leeds travelled to Brighton at the weekend knowing a defeat wouldn’t really make much difference to their season.
However, it shouldn’t be an excuse to let standards dip.
Almost every player can look at their performance and know they could do a lot better, but Alioski in particular showed the lack of faith in him at the moment.
He was only on for 45 minutes but managed to make an impact in the wrong way when he grappled Danny Welbeck’s thigh and presented the Seagulls with a penalty to take the lead.
Leeds never reacted to going behind and the loss was essentially confirmed when Groß slotted past Meslier in goal.
The decision from Bielsa to hook Alioski at half time was very telling for a player currently a handful of games from his Leeds career coming to an end.
Former Leeds ‘keeper Paul Robinson saw the penalty live in the flesh at the AMEX, and it’s clear he’s not happy with Alioski.
Speaking to MOT Leeds News, he delivered this very bold verdict:
Alioski has been poor for the last few weeks. That’s the last time we’ll see him in a Leeds shirt.
The noises he’s been making about going to Galatasaray haven’t gone down well with the Leeds fans and he’s been defensively poor all season.
Teams have been targeting him all season. The game against Brighton, along with Arsenal away, was his poorest game for Leeds.
The penalty was a stupid mistake, why he felt the need to wrap his arm around Danny Welbeck I don’t know.
He’s not a left-back, which is why he wears the number 10 on his shirt, he’s a makeshift left-back and he’s been asked to do a job there all season. I think that’s over now.
It’s an area that Leeds will have to invest in heavily in the summer.
Robinson is right in his claim to say this was one of Alioski’s worst performances.
What has been most obvious about targeting him is that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would rather play Dan James against Alioski than Paul Pogba in midfield, knowing he can threaten him out wide.
Time will tell if Alioski ends up dropped for his performance against Brighton but it would be right, for us.
Confidence is on the floor with the North Macedonian right now and it’s getting more and more obvious he probably won’t be here next season.
The Galatasaray links have calmed significantly and it should be irrelevant when we’re discussing his starting prospects.
His quality in the starting lineup is enough to go off, and the vast majority of fans would agree it’s time for a replacement.
Who that will be remains in doubt, but for the time being, we ought to be exploring in-house replacements.
Stuart Dallas is fit and more than able to move back from midfield, and Leif Davis has been brilliant for the under-23s.
If there’s no place for Alioski at Leeds next season, give these last four games to a player who does have a place here.