Marcelo Bielsa has told his pre-Manchester United presser – as per Leeds Live – that it was “very sad” to see Gjanni Alioski leave the club. Alioski saw his contract expire at Elland Road following the final game of the season. Alioski has joined Al-Ahli, while Bielsa also spoke about Adam Forshaw.
The 29-year-old left-back was a character in the dressing room, one that was renowned for his somewhat crazy antics. Banging the tunnel, getting Nicolas Pepe sent off – or screaming “Kalvin” from the swimming pool, Alioski was excellent for morale. He was pretty good on the pitch, too.
He started 20-21 as back-up to Stuart Dallas at left-back but with the Northern Irishman moving into midfield – he came in. Alioski was excellent. While he struggled on occasion, Leeds clearly wanted to keep him. Bielsa says Leeds tried to make him stay, and said it was “very sad” to see him go.
“Very sad,” Bielsa said, on Alioski’s exit. “Due to the football part of course, but in the humane part specifically. I have a lot of affection for Alioski. I know he wanted to continue and the club wanted him to continue. The club wanted him to continue and he wanted to stay.”
Bielsa also suggest Forshaw still has something to offer Leeds
The ex-Everton and Middlesbrough midfielder has not played a competitive fixture since September 2019. He started the season in which Leeds gained promotion as first choice. But a hip injury has kept him sidelined for the best part of 18 months. He has since returned to training, and matches.
At least, for the Under-23 side. He featured against Manchester City’s Under-23 side in a recent 4-0 win – and against Ajax’s second string. Asked whether Forshaw remains a part of his plans ahead of the 21-22 season – Bielsa responded by suggesting that he could still play a part at Leeds.
“Forshaw hasn’t played for two years and up to now he’s played 60 without any problems,” Bielsa continued, when asked about the experienced midfielder. “Considering the process for his recovery is a longer one. Even if available he can be useful.”