Stuart Dallas has been a marvel for Leeds United this season. While he continues to be criminally underrated by others outside of the Leeds bubble, those inside of it know just how important he is to Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Those, including Luke Ayling, who has summed up just what Leeds fans think of the Northern Ireland star on Instagram.
Lets rewind five years. Leeds completed the £1.3million (Sky Sports) signing of Dallas from Brentford. A winger, he was a steady Championship player at best. Indeed for the Bees, he had scored nine goals in 75 appearances and while he could play on either flank, his incredible versatility was yet to be discovered. Even in his first three seasons at Leeds, it went unnoticed.
But under Marcelo Bielsa, it goes without saying just how much he has improved in his natural positions, but also the positions he has adopted as his own. Right-back, left-back, central midfield, defensive midfield, left wing, right wing. Dallas has it all, and he is not just doing it for Leeds – but Northern Ireland too. Dallas has now surpassed 200 appearances for the Whites and given his work rate, he is going to get to 300 with ease.
At times against West Brom on Wednesday night, Dallas even appeared as a right-sided central defender – and posted a message to supporters on Instagram after the 5-0 win which saw Bielsa’s men climb to a lofty 11th place ahead of Saturday’s tricky game against Tottenham Hotspur.
Plenty responded, with Gjanni Alioski commenting “Cafu”, in relation to his nickname – the Cookstown Cafu, likened to the Brazilian legend. But it was Ayling’s response that completely sums up just what Leeds fans are thinking about utility man Dallas. Signed for such a bargain fee five years ago, Leeds fans are aghast at just how good he can be in so many different positions – and Ayling appears to share that sentiment, with a five-word response.