It would perhaps be unfair to single any particular Leeds United player out for having a poor game in their final fixture before the international break.
In truth, it just proved to be a hugely disappointing day at the office for Marcelo Bielsa’s side – for a variety of reasons. And a number of players did not manage to produce anything like one of their better performances at Selhurst Park.
But perhaps, it is possible to pick out the one player within Bielsa’s squad the result was most damaging for – and that may be Gjanni Alioski.
Alioski was probably a name few were expecting to see on the teamsheet. But with Pablo Hernandez and Jamie Shackleton dropping out of the side, the North Macedonia international was promoted to the starting lineup.
It was therefore, a fantastic chance for Alioski to impress. Unfortunately, he was unable to take full advantage.
Leeds had little joy down their left flank. His partnership with Jack Harrison had nothing like the success they had when the Whites thrashed Aston Villa 3-0 last month.
And defensively, the 28-year-old endured a tough afternoon. It would appear that Alioski missed a great opportunity to push for more game-time.
And perhaps, it could be argued that he also missed a chance to show why he should get a new contract.
It would actually be a huge surprise if an extension was not agreed. Alioski is a brilliant player to have in a squad coached by Bielsa. He has played all over the pitch during his time with the Whites.
And his performance at Villa highlighted how good he can be.
However, he is a player whose versatility potentially counts against him. He has become an understudy in a number of positions, rather than a key man.
And if he signs a new contract, he will likely be set to stay well into his 30s. That perhaps makes handing him a new deal more of a gamble.
Alioski has produced some outstanding runs of form during his time at Leeds. And it should come as no surprise if he bounces back superbly when he next gets a chance.
But perhaps that latest display hinted that he needs to do more to vindicate getting a new contract.
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