Date: 16th August 2019 at 2:51pm
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EXCLUSIVE

Danny Mills has thrown down the gauntlet to Leeds United defender Barry Douglas to make the left-back spot his own this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds and England full-back says that the Scottish international is the only natural left-back at the club, having signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers last summer.

Injuries curtailed his first season at Elland Road, with Ezgjan Alioski, who has regularly operated as a winger throughout his career, shoehorned into a full-back role by Marcelo Bielsa.

With both players now fit, Mills has challenged Douglas to cement his place in the starting XI under Bielsa and keep Alioski out of the side.

Mills told Football Insider: “Alioski is a number 10, converted to left-back, but he did quite well last season.

“It’s a strange situation, Barry Douglas is the out-and-out left-back. I’d like to see him really start to take that number three shirt and say: ‘This is mine, I’m not prepared to let it go.’

“We’ve seen a little bit at Leeds before he got injured but before that, at Wolves, that he can be an exceptionally good left-back.” 

Douglas, 29, has started the opening two Championship fixtures for Leeds this season, with Alioski having to settle for two substitute appearances and a start in the League Cup clash against Salford City.

The 2018/19 campaign saw the former Wolves man limited to just 26 appearances across all competitions, with knee ligament damage keeping him out in the final games of the season.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider that the “hype is real” about one of the club’s young talents.