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Leeds may have found their next Stuart Dallas

Crystal Palace v Leeds United - Premier League
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Leeds United

Leeds may have found their next Stuart Dallas

It is remarkable to think of the position within Leeds United’s squad Stuart Dallas seemed to find himself in just a couple of years ago.

The 29-year-old made just 14 league starts during the campaign overseen by Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom. And he actually only started 12 Championship games in Marcelo Bielsa’s debut campaign with the Whites.

Everton v Leeds United - Premier League

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An outstanding end to that season – his play-off semi-final display threatened to be about as heroic as a performance on a football pitch can get – helped establish the Northern Irishman as a regular starter.

Leeds have been without Dallas for one league game since the start of last season. And in that time, he has played at left-back, right-back, central midfield, further up the right flank and in holding midfield.

He is the player that seems to immediately come to mind when Bielsa has a problem position to fill. And it is not uncommon for Dallas to feature in several different roles in one game.

Even in a side brimming with versatility, Dallas stands out as the perfect squad player. So it could be huge for Leeds if they could stumble upon the next Stuart Dallas at some stage.

Leeds United U23 v Wolverhampton Wanderers U23 - Under 18s Premier League

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And perhaps there is one player within the under-23s who is making a case for that role in the future.

Niall Huggins seems to be the player that Mark Jackson can put almost anywhere. The 20-year-old has played the majority of his football this season as a left-back.

 

But the youngster has also played on the opposite side – starting at right-back on Monday as the under-23s beat Stoke 1-0 at Thorp Arch.

Admittedly, Huggins should have made the score 2-0 in the final moments of the game. But his overall performance was outstanding.

Obviously, the fact that he is yet to make his first-team debut highlights that he is not the finished article just yet.

But his ability to play further forward, as well as in both full-back roles will certainly appeal to Bielsa.

And perhaps by the time Dallas starts to become less influential, Huggins may be ready to turn himself into the player the Leeds first-team simply cannot be without.

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