Friday, January 27, 2023

Leeds United Star With 5 Assists Out For The Rest Of The Season: Bielsa Seems Covered For Now

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Ayush Chaurasia
Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.

Leeds United’s official website has confirmed that Barry Douglas’ season has come to a premature end because of the injury he suffered during the clash with Millwall. The 2018 summer signing ruptured his knee ligament during the game but continued on as the Whites had used all their substitutes until then. Therefore the defender should be applauded for his bravery for carrying on.

Douglas started off as the first choice left-back and looked impressive in the first half of the season. However, he went off the boil since January, and Marcelo Bielsa decided to give Ezgjan Alioski a go in the left back role. The Macedonian has been impressive, and Douglas had managed to make appearances only off the bench in the last few months. 

Why Leeds United will miss him?

Even though Douglas was not a preferred starter in the last few months, the Scottish international often made the difference by coming off the bench. In the clash against Millwall, Douglas provided the crucial assist to Luke Ayling for the equaliser. His presence allowed Bielsa to remain flexible with tactics.

Jack Harrison has struggled on numerous occasions, and there have been instances when the Argentine pushed Alioski up the pitch at half time. Douglas was the player covering in the left back position in such cases.

Douglas has a mean left foot, and his crosses from the left were often dangerous. His injury would put more pressure on Bielsa as he might not be able to change things much.

Who can replace Douglas?

Stuart Dallas is back fit and available, and his versatility can come in handy in situations like this. Ezgjan Alioski is likely to continue in the left-back role. However, if Bielsa wants to change midway through the game, and push the Macedonian up the pitch, then he can bring in someone like Dallas. Another option could be to shift Luke Ayling down the left and use Jamie Shackleton on the right side of the defence.

Versatility and flexibility of the players have been one of the major hallmarks of this team and Bielsa has found a way somehow or the other to cope with so many injuries. With just a few crunch games to go, the manager would have liked to have all his players fit and available. Despite that, we feel that the club have enough firepower in their repertoire to cope with this situation. Even though Douglas was making some impressive cameos, the Whites shouldn’t miss him much.

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