While Raphinha may be the man making all the headlines this season at Leeds, Stuart Dallas has arguably been the real star of the show for Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League.
The Northern Irishman has just taken his game up a level since the step-up to the top-flight and has been in superb form in recent weeks, ever since he made the move to play in central midfield.
The 30-year-old spent virtually most of the first half of the campaign at full-back, whether that be on the left or right, and to his credit, he certainly stuck to his task well when Bielsa called on him to fill in there.
But such has been his versatility, that it’s almost been a real curse for him to impress on a more personal level. When he’s been deployed in the middle of the park or even slightly further forward as an attacking midfielder, Dallas has really come to the fore.
As per Transfermarkt, in the seven games that he’s been given the licence to roam forward as a more box-to-box presence, the midfielder has struck three goals, which is by far his best record in front of goal.
You only have to look at his match-winning display against Manchester City when he scored twice at the Etihad to see the kind of talent and goal-scoring knack that he does possess.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay raved about the £35k-a-week earning Dallas and his worth to this Leeds side, insisting that on his current form, it would be difficult to leave him out of the team next season, even with some potential signings.
Writing in his mailbag, he said: “That probably depends on two things — whether Klich can rediscover his mojo and which midfielders arrive in the transfer window. But in this form, it would be very difficult to drop him. From right winger through right-back and left-back, he’s actually starting to look like a quality centre-mid.
“I went for Dallas as Player of the Year last season as well. I’ve almost run out of things to say about him. He’s like the T-1000 from Terminator. Tell him to be a goalkeeper and he turns himself into one (without indiscriminately killing people at the same time).”
The fact is that Dallas has proven in recent weeks that a midfield role can see him really shine at Elland Road, and it would be foolish to move him back into full-back or anywhere else on the pitch.
Dubbed as “frightening” by former Leeds man Noel Whelan, Bielsa must unshackle Dallas as the club’s primary box-to-box midfield star from this point onwards.