Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has been dealt a possible cause for concern over the international break, as Stuart Dallas is facing a potential lay-off through injury after sitting out Northern Ireland’s friendly with Luxembourg, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The 28-year-old had been named in Michael O’Neill’s 25-man Green and White Army squad for their forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifier with Germany, but missed the friendly with Luxembourg on Thursday night with an alleged glute issue.
Dallas has featured in each of Leeds’ opening six Championship fixtures this season at right-back (TransferMarkt), as Bielsa required the Cookstown-born ace’s versatility to cover for the absent Luke Ayling.
Ayling received a kick to his ankle in training ahead of the Whites’ pre-season friendly with York City, and is yet to return to action having undergone surgery in the summer which left the full-back facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Dallas, too, has not been without injury scares of his own this term, as the Crusaders product left Bielsa with an anxious wait last month when he was forced off 12 minutes from time against Brentford. Thankfully for the Argentine, the blow was not a severe one and he returned to play the full 90 minutes next time out.
Bielsa will be hoping for a similar outcome with Dallas’ latest gripe, as it is currently noted that the 28-year-old is in line to make his 40th international appearance in Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Germany on Monday.
Leeds will undoubtedly be hoping that Dallas’ alleged glute issue is not a serious one and that he will not be sidelined for when the Whites turn their attention back to the Championship and their trip to Barnsley at the close of the international break.
Dallas has been a key part of the side this term through his consistent place in the starting XI, and there is no natural alternative in the ranks at Elland Road that would come in to fill an already depleted role.
Gaetano Berardi has featured in the wide defensive position more than anywhere else during his career (TransferMarkt), but it is only a role Bielsa has looked upon favourably four times across all competitions since his appointment.
Jamie Shackleton may also look to stake his claim to the position if Dallas leaves it vacant, and would look well-placed after Bielsa’s comments at the time of Dallas’ earlier injury scare, but the Leeds product has so far been resigned to just five minutes of action in the second tier this season.
Leeds fans, how big of a blow would Dallas being ruled out be? Let us know in the comments below…
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