Leeds United fell to a 3-1 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night, with the performance of Ezgjan Alioski a cause for concern for Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa.
The Yorkshire club got off to the perfect start thanks to a goal from former Chelsea youngster Patrick Bamford but that was as good as it got for Leeds, as goals from Olivier Giroud and Kurt Zouma put the Blues in front, before a late goal from Christian Pulisic sealed the win.
One man who disappointed in the game against Frank Lampard’s side was Alioski, with the left-back struggling throughout his time on the pitch.
During his time on the pitch, Alioski won just three out of seven of his ground duels, whilst he committed four fouls, suggesting that the Chelsea players often got the better of him.
The North Macedonian international also lost possession on 14 occasions during his 69 minutes on the pitch, whilst he was accurate with just 22/33 of his passes, resulting in a disappointing pass accuracy rate of 67%.
Perhaps Noel Whelan’s comments over him being a “liability” are ringing true now.
It was no surprise therefore that Bielsa opted to substitute Alioski with just over 20 minutes remaining as Leeds chased an equaliser.
The 28-year-old’s contract with Leeds is set to expire at the end of the season but after another disappointing display on Saturday, Bielsa may be considering whether or not Alioski is deserving of another deal.
In his nine appearances in the top-flight so far this season, versatile Leeds man has averaged a less than impressive 6.49 rating but he continues to be selected by Bielsa, suggesting that the Argentinian trusts him to start in his first-team, despite his arguably poor performances since Leeds were promoted.
Alioski earned the praise of Kevin Phillips earlier this year, with the former striker suggesting that:
“He is a player who can unlock the door and he has a brilliant work rate.
“When he comes off the bench he can change the game and if you start with him he might be able to produce a bit of magic. Either way, he does not moan and every squad needs a player like that,” per Football Insider.
However, he was unable to repay Phillips’ faith in him against Chelsea, so it will be interesting to see if Bielsa keeps faith in the £3.15 million-rated man for Leeds’ game against West Ham next Friday, or whether he decides to drop him after what was undoubtedly a disappointing display.
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