By Noel Whelan

20th Oct, 2020 | 10:49am

Exclusive: Whelan frets over confirmed plans for Leeds duo Bielsa 'Absolutely loves'

Noel Whelan admits he is not convinced about Marcelo Bielsa’s plans to use Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski as midfielders at Leeds United. 

The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan of the club, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the pair have proven their versatility but that a central role is not where he wants to see them play.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Bielsa confirmed that he plans to use either Dallas and Alioski as box-to-box midfielders in the absence of either Mateusz Klich or Jamie Shackleton.

The duo have been used primarily at left-back by the Argentine boss, with both having been converted into defensive players from their winger roles since his arrival.

Whelan insists that both Alioski and Dallas have shown the ability to adapt to playing in different positions but that he is not entirely convinced by the premise of their prospective new roles in the middle of the park.

Asked if midfield is where he wanted to see the duo playing, Whelan told Football Insider: “No, it’s not but what you have got there is players that Marcelo Bielsa absolutely loves, can play different roles and adapt to different positions.

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“You can see how important it is when it comes to signings in that that is what he actually goes for, isn’t it? He goes for that player who can play numerous different positions and if he needs to change throughout a game to bring someone on, he can move players around into a position.

“Dallas, we can see how he’s adapted and he’s played 90 minutes moving from that left-back role into midfield and he’s become a very important player to Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United.

“He has the options, he has the players at his disposal that he requires to have those sort of ingredients to be a player in our team and be successful.” 

Speaking about his midfield options, Bielsa told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “In attacking midfield Pablo, Tyler Roberts, Rodrigo can play there and in the defensive midfield position Phillips, Koch and Pascal can play there and eventually Llorente as well

“In the box to box midfield position Klich, Dallas, Shackleton and Alioski can play there and these are the options I see.”

In other Leeds United news, Alex McLeish insists Bielsa has a “sensational” player he has barely used this season.