Leeds United supporters have been pretty downbeat for much of the current international break after seeing their side suffer a damaging defeat in the Championship last time out.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men went into their encounter with fellow high-flyers West Brom sat at the summit of the second tier table having won eight of their opening 16 games, with several Whites fans dreaming of a possible return to the Premier League. Yet the Yorkshire giants were soundly beaten by Darren Moore’s Baggies 11 days ago as goals from Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips, Harvey Barnes, and Dwight Gayle inspired the hosts to a 4-1 success at the Hawthorns, thus instigating Leeds’ fall to third place in the Championship table.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken to Twitter recently to react to a statistic which shows that midfielder Ezgjan Alioski is sat in third place in the second tier for the most key passes so far this season.
Yet many Leeds fans still reacted disapprovingly to what the £3.6 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) gives their side – as such, it’s quite remarkable just how little trust those supporters have in manager Bielsa when it comes to the 26-year-old.
Ultimately, the Macedonia international made the move to Elland Road last year to much excitement and anticipation, and he certainly lived up to billing last term with seven goals and five assists in 42 Championship appearances for the Whites.
Yes, there were times whereby Leeds fans expected slightly more of the winger, and those times have become much more frequent this time round under new boss Bielsa – yet that recent statistic underlines just why the Argentine continues to rightly select Alioski.
Everyone is well aware just how tough the Championship is for creative players in the final third to continuously produce the goods, which is why Alioski’s tally of 37 key passes this term, equating to over two a game, deserves huge recognition – his tally is seven more than the next-best Pablo Hernandez.
And with three goals and three assists so far in the second tier this season, it’s not as if the Macedonian star isn’t delivering and turning those key passes into direct contributions – things may have gone quiet in recent weeks, but he’s continuing to work hard and try and make something happen, both for himself and indeed his teammates.
And all this underlines just how much faith Bielsa has in the 26-year-old – yes, he may have failed to score or register an assist since the start of October, but he clearly brings a huge amount to this Leeds team, both on and indeed off the ball given only Barry Douglas and Mateusz Klich have made more tackles than him this term.
Yet for those Leeds fans to still criticise the winger despite all the good he offers this team is wide of the mark – there’s a reason Bielsa picks the winger every week, and that’s because of how much he offers this Leeds side.
Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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