With a clash against a rejuvenated Tottenham at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa must make the ruthless call of dropping Gjanni Alioski from the starting line-up.
The Whites suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Brighton last time out in the Premier League, and Alioski in particular had a difficult afternoon at the Amex Stadium. The North Macedonia international gave away an early penalty, lost six of his nine duels and coughed up possession 10 times (Sofascore).
Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan tore into the 29-year-old and insisted that it was just another display which highlighted the need for the club to sign a left-back this summer.
He told Football Insider: “Alioski was diabolical to be quite honest with you. The free-kick, where he is trying to get a megs in the wrong area, that was his first mistake. The second mistake was back to the Alioski of old.
“We saw that weakness on the left-hand side again. The right thing was to take him off, 100 per cent. He was a liability. Another game which highlighted our need to go into the market for a left-back.”
Whelan has also previously gone on record to slam Alioski as a “liability”, claiming after the game against Chelsea earlier this season that opposition teams target him down the left-hand side.
He said: “Leeds need a natural full-back there that you know can cover most bases, definitely defensively because as much as he gives everything, he is a liability. He’s not the best of defenders.
“I think that’s why you could see a lot going down that left-hand side, really targeting Alioski and you saw that frailty there at times.”
The £55,000-a-week ace has been linked with a move away from Elland Road this summer, with reports claiming that Turkish Super Lig giants Galatasaray are interested in signing him on a free transfer once his contract expires.
It would be a ruthless call from Bielsa to drop Alioski from the line-up against Spurs after seeing him start the past few games, but after his difficult afternoon against Brighton last week, and a potentially daunting battle against an in-form Gareth Bale on Saturday, there’s surely only one decision to make.