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FLW Duels

32 tackles v 14 key passes: Bielsa mainstay edging out £3m man in developing Leeds battle



Barry Douglas’ arrival at Leeds United during the summer transfer window looked like great business, particularly for a fee that was reported to be around the £3m mark.  

Leeds had got their hands on a left-back that’d just won the Championship with Wolves, scoring five goals and registering 14 assists in the process.

Yet, his impact at Elland Road hasn’t matched that, with injuries and a struggle for form hindering his first year in West Yorkshire.

He’s currently sat on the bench, with Ezgjan Alioski the man preferred in the left-back role over the last nine fixtures.

In our latest FLW Duel, we take a look at the pair’s last nine appearances on the left of defence:

Alioski, who has been a mainstay in Marcelo Bielsa’s side over the course of the season, has scored three goals and registered two assists since switching to left-back, whilst Douglas has just one assist.

In addition to that, Alioski has made 32 tackles to Douglas’ 10, whilst the Macedonian international has made four more key passes.

In general, Douglas makes more passes than Alioski, to a higher pass percentage, but on first glance, Alioski has been outperforming the 29-year-old in his favoured position.

The Verdict  

Douglas was seen as a great addition to Leeds’ squad and despite his struggles, he hasn’t be a disastrous signing.

However, since switching to full-back from the wing, Alioski has looked a different player and when Leeds have been on song, he’s been the pick of the bunch.

Bielsa’s system allows his full-backs to get forward, with Alioski’s energy outweighing the dead-ball expertise that Douglas brings.

It’s an interesting battle between the pair as in the coming weeks and months, Douglas could well come back into the side as Leeds look to get over the line in the race for promotion.

If he can do that, his £3m fee will have been justified, but for now, Alioski is the man deserving his place at left-back.

Thoughts? Let us know!

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