If you search for ‘consistency’ in the dictionary, you might well find Stuart Dallas’ name.
The versatile Leeds man defines reliability wherever he plays and he has become one of the first names on the team sheet under Marcelo Bielsa.
The Argentine has taken Dallas’ performances to a level that even the player probably didn’t think he’d reach, going from a bit part member of the squad under Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom to a major player in their promotion-winning campaign.
Dallas appeared 45 times in the Championship last season, playing in a whole host of positions. He won their Player’s Player of the Season award and in the process, scored five goals and registered three assists.
On top of that, the Northern Irishman played in four different roles – at left-back, right-back, right wing and in the middle of the park.
It was a stellar season for Dallas who has continued in a similar light this term, bagging three goals, all from full-back.
Though, what if we were to tell you that the Whites could soon unearth his long-term successor? Well, it would be particularly exciting.
It was revealed last week that Leeds were interested in signing young Liverpool talent Yasser Larouci.
The Algerian is just 20 years of age but has tremendous versatility, leading us to believe that he’d be a potential dream signing for Bielsa.
The Leeds boss loves a versatile player and you only need to look at Dallas, as well as the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Gjanni Alioski to understand that.
The latter can play at full-back, in the middle or out wide, while Phillips has played in defensive midfield and at centre-back this season.
Larouci, however, can play in even more roles. Throughout his short career to date, the youngster has played in six different positions.
Although he’s made just two senior outings to date, he’s featured as a centre-forward on one occasion, on the right wing, further back on the right of midfield, left midfield and in both full-back roles during his youth career.
The Liverpool gem is a defender by trade, however, and his sheer athleticism reminds us of Dallas – someone who uses his tenacity and quick thinking to get forward.
Speaking about Larouci previously, Liverpool’s former U18s boss, Barry Lewtas once remarked:
“He is lightning quick and a real good personality. Because he is so quick it helps in his one-v-one defending, he is aggressive and is good when he runs into the big spaces and he arrives well in terms of forward runs.”
That sounds an awful lot like Dallas. His aforementioned goal record dictates that he’s good at arriving late in the penalty area, while he is supremely adept at dealing with one-on-one situations.
Finding someone similar in Larouci, therefore, is rare. He’d be a great pick up from Victor Orta and his recruitment team.