Ex-England and Premier League striker Darren Bent has identified the injury to Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas as a ‘big blow’, as they hone in on the Championship title.
The Northern Irishman has been one of Marcelo Bielsa’s unsung heroes this season, but the Leeds boss confirmed earlier in the week that Dallas had suffered a muscle injury in the Luton clash, and that he’d unlikely be available for the trip to Ewood Park later today.
Dallas, 29, has featured in every single Championship game for Leeds so far this season, with 41 appearances across all competitions in what is now his 5th season at the club.
Speaking to Football Insider, Bent explained why Dallas’ absence will be such a blow to Bielsa:
“It’s because he can play in so many positions as well, that’s a key, so when you’re talking about someone that is that valuable to the team, that is a big blow.
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“He’s impressed me all season. Leeds have got a good squad, they’ve got players there, they’re confident and you’re just hoping that they get over the line, the player who does come in and take his place, or the players that are playing, can get it over the line because they are so, so close.”
After Luton held them to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night – Dallas scoring for the home side – Leeds now have a one point lead over 2nd-place West Brom, and a six point lead over Brentford in 3rd.
Today they face a Blackburn side with promotion hopes of their own, but after back-to-back defeats for Tony Mowbray’s side, they’ll need a win over Leeds to reinstate their chances of a top-six finish.
At this stage of the season, and in the position that Leeds are in, to lose a player who’s been a part of every Championship fixture this season will be an undeniable loss.
But Bielsa has a big squad at his disposal, with plenty of players capable of performing – he’ll just have to find the right balance to replace Dallas, and to get past a tricky Blackburn side this afternoon.