By Alex McLeish

23rd Mar, 2021 | 11:00am

Leeds told to sign free agent after Alioski decides to quit Leeds with contract already agreed - McLeish

Alex McLeish has urged Leeds United to sign Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt on a free to replace exit-bound Ezgjan Alioski.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites needed to sign a natural left-back this summer.

As revealed by Football Insider on Tuesday, Alioski, 29, has agreed a pre-contract deal with Galatasaray and will quit Leeds at the end of the season.

The Macedonia international has shared left-back duties with Stuart Dallas this season.

However, the Mirror claim Leeds are keen on snapping up Palace ace van Aanholt on a free when his contract runs out this summer.

McLeish suggested Leeds needed a natural left-sided defender ahead of next season and insisted the Dutchman fits this bill.

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“Bielsa’s played Dallas and Alioski at left-back. He’s not really got a fixed specialist in that position,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“It depends on the legs, how old’s van Aanholt now? Just 30? Well he should be kind of at the peak. You know what players are like these days, they can move easily and it’s a right few bob.

“The main thing is if he’s still playing to a level of Premier League players. If he’s still got his speed and that then that’s a no-brainer. He can bring an assuredness in defence as well.” 

Van Aanholt has 209 Premier League games of experience under his belt after spells with Palace, Sunderland, Wigan and Chelsea.

Despite missing the start of the season through injury, he has been a regular for Roy Hodgson with 18 top-flight appearances.

In other Leeds United news, three Leeds United youngsters have been tipped for Premier League debuts after key update.