Leeds United’s Barry Douglas was the undisputed left-back at the beginning of the season and a key player for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, but he’s seen the door firmly shut by his teammate Ezgjan Alioski.
Douglas, 29, has struggled to force his way into the starting XI this campaign due to a mix of form and also fitness.
The Scottish full-back is now fully back in contention for the team, but it appears like there is no immediate way back into the side and he may have to continue on the bench for the rest of the season.
Douglas has been used as a late substitute in three of the last four league games and the defender stands little chance of being recalled when his teammate is inspired form.
Alioski has thrived at left-back so far in 2019 and looked rejuvenated since dropping back into the deeper role from the wing.
The 27-year-old is a workhorse that never stops running in games and has become a better attacking threat with his new style of arriving late at the back post or overlapping wingers.
He’s now part of a settled back four that manager Marcelo Bielsa is beginning to favour and was once again industrious in the impressive 3-0 win over Reading on Tuesday night, which temporarily took Leeds back to the top of the Championship.
Douglas will have to adapt to his new role as defensive cover in the meantime, but his experience of promotion to the Premier League from last season with Wolverhampton Wanderers will surely come in handy in the dressing room.
He is perhaps unfortunate not to be in the side because he can be a force at Championship level, but Alioski is performing too consistently to be axed.