Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski celebrates scoring their second goal v Stoke, August 2019
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Profit Players: Leeds United and Ezgjan Alioski

This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.

Leeds United splashed out an alleged £2.25m when they signed Ezgjan Alioski from FC Lugano in 2017 (Transfermarkt) as he became Thomas Christiansen’s fifth signing during his tenure at Elland Road.

Indeed, he became an important member of the Dane’s squad during the ex-manager’s brief stay in Yorkshire, making 31 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals and providing five assists in the process.

However, there is an argument that Alioski has become even more important to Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa and that the Whites managed to get away with a deal at a huge bargain.

The Macedonia international has seen his valuation by Transfermarkt almost double during his time at Elland Road as he is marked at being worth £4.05m now.

Bielsa has made him a valuable option to his side as well over the last 12 months or so, having played him in 55 matches, where the 27-year-old has managed to bag himself eight goals and five assists.

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However, arguably, it is what the Argentine boss has managed to achieve with the eastern European during their time together in Yorkshire that has turned him into a prized asset at Elland Road.

Alioski may have started his playing career with BSC Young Boys as a left-back, however he did admit in an interview earlier in the year that he was enjoying the role under Bielsa (Blue Win) – a position that Noel Whelan also believes is the Macedonian is better suited too (Football Insider).

According to data this season collected by WhoScored, the 27-year-old has managed to achieve an average of 2.1 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 0.9 clearances in his seven Championship appearances to date and appears to be keeping alleged £3m signing Barry Douglas out of the starting XI for the time being.

However, he has not always been someone that has had it easy during his time at Leeds, with Whelan having been furious with the player at times and being highly critical of his performances.

The former player told BBC Radio Leeds almost a year ago: “Alioski never seems to get rested. He could have the worst game in the world; he could be terrible for a month – he’ll still get chosen. I think it’s in his contract. Seriously. I think there is something that says he must play. There is something there, I don’t know.”

Indeed, he has now gone on to make 100 appearances for the Whites in just over two seasons (Transfermarkt) and has become a cult hero of sorts with those in the Elland Road stands.

The £2.25m allegedly spent on him appears to be a snip for a player with what Alioski brings to the club and now, it would seem, Leeds and Bielsa are benefitting from a class piece of business by Christiansen.

Leeds fans, what do you make of Alioski and his importance to the club? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments below!

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Profit Players: Leeds United and Ezgjan Alioski
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