This hasn’t exactly been an easy January for Leeds United to negotiate. Heading into their clash with Newcastle this week, they’d yet to score or win in 2021.
On top of that, they’ve also failed to strengthen in the January transfer window.
Fortunately, things are getting better for Leeds. They defeated the Magpies 2-1 on Tuesday and now it looks as though enigmatic left-back Gjanni Alioski is heading for the exit door.
A report from Fotosport (via Sport Witness) claim that with Alioski’s contract expiring in the summer, he has reached an agreement with Galatasaray in Turkey to move there in the next transfer window.
Players are free to discuss a pre-contract arrangement with foreign clubs from this month onwards if their deal expires in six months and thus, it appears the North Macedonian is set to bring his stay at Elland Road to an end.
This wouldn’t be a huge loss for Leeds, however, who are bound to be frustrated with some of his performances. He was torn apart by Manchester United and Daniel James last month while he put in another unconvincing performance against Newcastle this week.
Previously described as a “liability” by Noel Whelan, it’s unlikely he’ll be missed too much in Yorkshire.
Leeds have had a problem at left-back for a number of years now. Ever since Charlie Taylor departed for Burnley, they have been found wanting in that area of the pitch. Gaetano Berardi deputised there for a period but he has one of the worst disciplinary records in the club’s history, being red-carded on seven occasions.
Stuart Dallas has played there and so too has Alioski. Though, the fact of the matter is that neither are natural left-backs. The former is used to playing on the right while the latter is a winger by trade.
It’s hard to suggest Barry Douglas’ time worked out either. He’s now at Blackburn on loan and failed to score for the Whites despite being a set-piece wizard for Wolves before arriving.
Thus, there is a pretty large problem to solve – one that can be fixed by signing a proper left-back.
Not only would this be a bargain for Victor Orta, but it would also help to replace Alioski perfectly. That’s because they possess similar qualities.
In Goal’s report about Doig this week, they wrote the following about the 18-year-old: “Scouts have noted Doig’s attacking output as a huge part of his game, with his crossing ability and tireless running two of his key attributes.”
That sounds an awful like Alioski, someone who loves to stride forward and provide goals and assists. Fortunately, however, Doig is also very capable defensively.
The teenager was only given his first taste of senior football this season but has since played on 17 occasions in the Scottish Premiership. He has become a regular under Jack Ross and is incredibly strong in the tackle.
Doig has won a colossal 2.1 tackles per game this season, a tally that not only usurps Alioski (1.8) but also a great deal of Leeds’ team. In fact, the Hibs defender would be placed fifth for that certain statistic out of United’s regular starters.
Leeds have lacked a defender with the ability to do the simple things right from a defensive point of view for a while and that’s exactly why they need to sign Doig. Add that to the fact he’d cost just £1m and this would be the perfect deal for Marcelo Bielsa.