Why this Leeds 25-year-old must prove himself in FA Cup against Cambridge
COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Stuart Dallas must hope he’s given an opportunity against Cambridge in the FA Cup match on Monday, to impress Garry Monk and fight for his place in the first team.
The 25-year-old has had a disappointing season after playing all but one of Leeds’ Championship games last season.
He played in the Euro 2016 tournament for Northern Ireland in the summer and then suffered an injury in a World Cup qualifier.
It means that he has started just 11 Championship games this season and has only played two full 90 minute matches since the start of October – the back-to-back victories against Preston and Brentford last month.
Hadi Sacko and Souleymane Doukara have emerged as Leeds’ first choice wingers in recent weeks and Dallas’ long-term future could be in doubt if Sacko completes a long-term deal.
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The Bordeaux star has been impressive in the English second tier since joining on loan and if he signs a new deal, it would be Dallas who is likely to face a battle to regain his place in the starting XI.
Dallas will be keen to fight for his place and knows that a run in the FA Cup will give him more chances as Monk will use his squad to cope with the rigours of the extra fixtures on top of the already congested Championship campaign.
The good news for Dallas is that Garry Monk also sees the benefits of an extended FA Cup run.
Talking ahead of the game with Cambridge on Monday, Monk has said that a cup run, like their exploits in the EFL Cup earlier in the season, would help foster a “winning mentality” at the club.
That’s good news for Dallas and the other fringe players at Leeds who will have the perfect opportunity to stake their claim for a first-team place in what should be an exciting run-in towards the end of the season.
The FA Cup clash on Tuesday will be a perfect opportunity for Dallas to show why he still has an important place in the squad and he will hope he can help Leeds progress as it should bring further chances to impress Monk.
In other Leeds news, Eddie Gray has delivered this verdict ahead of the clash.