Former Leeds United striker and current BBC Radio Leeds commentator Noel Whelan has launched a scathing attack on Ezgjan Alioski following his performance against Brighton.
The Whites were beaten 2-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon on a disappointing day for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Having taken five points from matches against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, the defeat saw them slip to 11th in the Premier League table.
Someone who was a “liability” all afternoon was Alioski, who had an erratic day at the office, playing a key role in the defeat and rarely looking settled. His clumsy foul on Danny Welbeck gave Pascal Gross the chance to open the scoring with a penalty, while he won only three of his nine duels and lost possession 10 times (Sofascore).
Whelan criticises ‘diabolical’ Alioski
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan laid into the left-back, claiming performances such as these show why he will likely leave Elland Road this summer amid reports that he has rejected a new contract, urging DoF Victor Orta to ‘go into the market’:
“Alioski was diabolical to be quite honest with you.
“The free-kick, where he is trying to get a megs in the wrong area, that was his first mistake. The second mistake was back to the Alioski of old.
“I’ve been impressed with him over the last three games. I thought he did really well and learned how to defend up against the likes of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood but against Brighton he reverted to his old style. We saw that weakness on the left-hand side again.
“The challenge on Welbeck was rash, stupid and unnecessary. It gave them the platform that they needed.
“The right thing was to take him off, 100 per cent. He was a liability. Another game which highlighted our need to go into the market for a left-back.”
Transfer Tavern take
There has always been an overly emotional, unpredictable side to Alioski’s game – one which has made him something of a loose cannon – and that came to the fore against Brighton.
While he has undoubtedly done well at Leeds overall – he has contributed 22 goals and 17 assists in 167 appearances – they can upgrade on him in the summer transfer window, bringing in a more reliable left-back, such as the recently-linked Nicolas Tagliafico.
If Bielsa’s men want to have European aspirations next season, having consistent, reliable figures throughout the team is vital, and Orta’s first job this summer should be finding a star at left-back for Bielsa – fitting square pegs in round holes can only get you so far.
In other news, a pundit has offered an encouraging update on the future of one Leeds United star. Find out who it is here.
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