'Not a natural' - Exclusive: Whelan raves over 'big improvement' from Leeds star loved by Bielsa
Noel Whelan has been left lauding over the improvement shown by Leeds United star Stuart Dallas in his new wing-back role under Marcelo Bielsa.
The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan of the club, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the Argentine boss is a big fan of the Northern Ireland international, who has operated as a winger for the majority of his career.
However, with the absence of the injured Luke Ayling, the 28-year-old has found himself operating as a right-back in the opening two games of the Championship season.
Whelan says he has been very impressed with what he has seen from the international and insists his qualities as a winger are what makes him such a favourite of Bielsa.
Whelan told Football Insider: “For someone that’s not a natural, he is your more natural wing-back these days.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“I think it suits the style of Marcelo Bielsa, I think that’s why he likes him so much. He does attack a lot down the wings, he does like his wing-backs to get nice and high with that security of Kalvin Phillips in between the two centre-halves.
“It works, I’ve seen a big improvement in his defending, he looks fit and strong, he’s enjoying the role now because he’s probably a little bit more confident.”
Dallas, who has 39 caps for Northern Ireland, has played 148 times for Leeds during his time at Elland Road, but was not a regular in the starting XI last season.
He managed to start just 10 Championship games before the play-offs, usually finding himself used as an option from the bench in his 27 league appearances.