Alex McLeish has insisted Ezgjan Alioski is “unlucky” to come under fire for his performances at left-back for Leeds United.
The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 29-year-old had been a “great” makeshift option at Elland Road.
As revealed by Football Insider, Leeds are expecting the left-sided star to quit this summer after hearing nothing back following a contract offer.
This site revealed in March Alioski had agreed a pre-contract deal with Galatasaray, but he has not communicated anything with his current club.
Marcelo Bielsa subbed him off at half time after he conceded a penalty for the Seagulls’ opener.
However, McLeish defended the wing-back, insisting it was not his natural position.
McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Let’s look at it overall. He’s not really a defender, is he?
“Even the best defenders will get done at some stage. They’ll make a mistake, of course they will.
“All goals come from probable mistakes or brilliant individual opponents. At the same time, you always look for the reason why. He is unlucky to be judged that way.
“He’s definitely more of a forward. Andy Robertson, one of the best wing-backs in the world. He’s a fantastic wingback but he can also defend because he started as a defender. He was schooled as a defender.
“Was Alioski schooled as a defender? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, he has made a great contribution in that position. He just got for this particular one.”
Alioski has played 34 times for Leeds this season, predominantly at left-back.
However, he started life at Elland Road as a winger and has a total of 167 appearances under his belt.
Stuart Dallas has also filled in at full-back this term, although the Northern Ireland international has since nailed down a midfield spot.
Leeds allowed natural left-back Barry Douglas to join Blackburn Rovers on loan last summer.