Having been a key part of the Leeds United side for a few seasons now, fans love all-around utility man Gjanni Alioski. The Macedonian has been beloved for his energy, effort, and desire to get up and down the flank with consistency. However, he has also shown immense development in the way he plays the game; he is far more committed to positional discipline and attacking at the right times. His game has improved in every single way since he started to play for Leeds. His time in Yorkshire, though, might be coming to an end with talk that Galatasaray of Turkey expect him to be their player come February.
The main reason for an early exit is a business call as much as anything else; Alioski is due to be out of contract in June 2021. This means that with a new deal not signed, the player can talk to anyone else about a pre-contract move in the summer. Rather than lose an asset for nothing, it is believed that Leeds supremo Victor Orta will look to get the player out of the door so that Leeds can use the fee to buy a replacement.
Despite having a summer spending spree, the Leeds squad still looks light in some areas – including at full-back. Losing Alioski would prompt the need for at least one replacement, and would likely see Leeds make a move before the window slams shut. At 28-years-old, Alioski is keen to make a move to a club that can compete for championships and play European football. As one of the largest teams in Europe, Galatasaray does offer a chance for the player to do that.
Leeds fans, though, might be annoyed about the choice of destination. Leeds and Galatasaray have endured poor relations after Gala ultras attacked and killed Leeds supporters in the aftermath of the 2000 UEFA Cup Semi-Finals.
Why won’t Leeds keep Alioski?
Despite having made more right moves than mistakes since Marcelo Bielsa came in, it feels like not keeping Alioski could be a mistake. With just six months to go on his deal, the fee that will be recouped from Turkey will be a fraction of what he could and should be worth. As such, there is an immediate concern that the club are making a mistake by moving on a player who has shown himself to be capable of playing Premier League football.
It also leaves the Whites scrambling to find a replacement player, and this could prove challenging with such little time left in the window. Given all that Alioski has done for Leeds, keeping the player around on improved terms before a summer sale might have made more sense. Talks, though, have dragged onto the point of falling apart and now it looks like an exit is almost 100% certain.
To lose a key player at such a key point in the season will be a bitter pill for Leeds fans to swallow.