Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish has hailed Ezgjan Alioski as an ‘unsung hero’ for Leeds United, as the North Macedonian nears his Whites exit.
The Lowdown: Alioski set to leave
The 29-year-old has been a key figure for Leeds during a great period in their history, shining with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm.
Alioski has made 171 appearances for the Whites, chipping in with 22 goals and 19 assists along the way and shining in an auxiliary left-back role.
The Latest: McLeish lauds ‘unsung hero’
Speaking to Football Insider, 62-year-old McLeish was full of praise for Alioski, lauding the job he has done for Leeds, particularly in terms of changing roles:
“It depends if Bielsa adds another bit of quality somewhere. He’s bursting with quality all over.
“You think of Alioski, who’s a converted left wing-back. He was a smashing little winger in his own right but the job he’s done has been quite exceptional as well.
“He’s not a renowned defender but he adapted very quickly and an unsung hero in a sense. It’s been a good all-round performance by very, very hungry, young, dynamic Leeds team.”
The Verdict: Right time to move on
While Alioski has undoubtedly been a key man for a number of years – Kevin Phillips hailed his ‘brilliant’ work rate and bits of ‘magic’ earlier this season – it does makes sense for him to enjoy a fresh challenge, rather than sign a new deal.
It gives Bielsa the chance to bringing in a natural left-back, potentially making his team even more balanced – perhaps one who isn’t nearing 30 years of age, such as Stade Brest defender Romain Perraud.
Alioski’s character could be missed, however, so it is important that his replacement possesses a similar kind of mentality – every side needs a few players with that extra competitive edge.
In other news, Leeds are reportedly eyeing up a move for an exciting attacking player. Find out who it is here.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience