Ex-manager heralds 'unsung hero' at Leeds as Dallas drops exit hint
Ezgjan Alioski was an “unsung hero” for Leeds United during the 2020/21 campaign, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 29-year-old had been “exceptional” in his makeshift wing-back role.
As revealed by Football Insider at the start of May, Leeds are expecting Alioski to leave at the end of his contract this summer.
The Whites have offered the Macedonia international a new deal but it remains unsigned.
Stuart Dallas appeared to hint at Alioski’s impending exit at Leeds’ end of season awards ceremony.
As quoted by Leeds Live, he grouped the defender with exit-bound stars Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez as the friends he would be losing this summer.
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McLeish suggested Alioski’s performances in an unnatural role had gone under the radar at Elland Road.
Discussing Leeds’ summer plans, McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “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.”
Alioski made 36 appearances in Leeds’ first season back in the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa also used Stuart Dallas as a makeshift left-back throughout the campaign.