Stuart Dallas is turning into an excellent modern day full-back, according to former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan.
The Northern Ireland international has been a regular for Marcelo Bielsa this season, who has played him at right-back with first choice Luke Ayling out injured.
Dallas is a natural winger, so it has meant that he has had to adapt his game to play in his new position, but Whelan believes that he has shown major improvements already defensively and that he will take some moving from the starting 11 even when Ayling returns from injury.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said: “Wow, Stuart Dallas has been absolutely outstanding this season. His energy levels, fitness, creativity, his one-on-one defending, have all massively improved.
“He is becoming very much the modern full-back, good on the overlap and spending lots of time in the opposition half. His defending has come on leaps and bounds, and to help keep a clean sheet against West Brom is huge. He’s been the big surprise, really.
“Dallas looks more confident and far more effective than he did when he was just an attacking player. He’s not going to be losing his place any time soon.”
There is no doubting that Dallas has become a hugely important player for Leeds. His versatility will be extremely useful throughout the season and he has shown that he is more than capable of filling in at right-back when needed.
He has been seriously impressive as a full-back. Indeed, in his latest performance against West Brom, he made six interceptions, three clearances and two tackles in the 90 minutes, which shows his defensive ability, while also offering an attacking input too with two shots, one of which was on target (via WhoScored).
As Whelan says, he looks like the perfect modern day footballer. With his history as a winger, he is naturally good going forward anyway and, having rapidly improved his defensive game, he has cemented his place in Bielsa’s starting line-up.
Eddie Nketiah or Patrick Bamford?
Leeds fans, how do you rate Stuart Dallas’ performances in the 2019/20 season so far? Let us know in the comments below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience