The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Graham Smyth has revealed that Leeds United are still keen to keep Gjanni Alioski despite the prospect of signing a new left-back this summer.
The 29-year-old is out of contract at Marcelo Bielsa’s side come the summer, and reports previously had suggested that he had agreed a pre-contract deal with another club.
However, Smyth has now shed some light on the £55k-a-week earning ace’s future at Elland Road, revealing that Victor Orta has held discussions with him and that Leeds are “keen” to keep him.
He said: “It was at least the second time Orta conversed with a left-back last week, having sat down with Gjanni Alioski to discuss his future with Leeds.
“Regardless of whether or not Alioski remains, Leeds will still seek to buy a left-back, but they are still keen to keep their North Macedonian international. He’s yet to accept the offer and, at 29 years of age, can’t be blamed for thinking long and hard about what might be his last, potentially lucrative deal and putting his family’s future first.”
While Alioski’s craziness and antics on and off the pitch have made him someone who can delight Leeds fans no end, he just didn’t show enough consistency and reliability at Premier League level to suggest he’s someone who Bielsa can truly trust week-in and week-out.
The 29-year-old has his moments of madness that costs the Whites big times, with last season seeing him concede two penalties that led to goals, while he also made two errors that directly led to shots.
He also averages the third-most fouls per game in the entire Leeds squad and is dribbled past the fourth-most, suggesting that he isn’t the most reliable of defenders.
And, going forward, Alioski didn’t offer much either despite playing in a Leeds side known for their exciting, attacking football. He averaged a measly 0.7 shots and 0.8 key passes per game, while he only managed 0.3 dribbles per match too – to put that into context, even centre-back Diego Llorente averaged more dribbles than him.
The Whites simply need to move on for the greater good and make a ruthless call on Alioski rather than looking to tie him down to a new deal.
If Leeds are intent on taking that next step and potentially even breaking into the European places next season, then making hard decisions will be absolutely crucial.
It’s exactly why this latest call on Alioski may have fans fuming.