With 10 duels won, Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski proves impressive work-rate against Sunderland

Leeds United corner flag before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25, 2017 in Leeds, England.

The new Leeds United player impressed against the Black Cats with more than just his creative play.

When Leeds United bought Ezgjan Alioski from Swiss side Lugano earlier this summer, a quick look at his return last season suggested the Whites had signed a gem.

After all, the Macedonia international scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in 36 appearances last time out and his highlights reel showed a player with dynamic ability and the will to drive forward at every opportunity.

Still, few Leeds fans would have expected such a creative player to possess the work-rate they saw on Saturday, as the Whites defeated fellow promotion hopefuls Sunderland in emphatic fashion.

Samu Saiz and Stuart Dallas may have scored the goals, but their teammate looked a class apart and rightly walked away with the man-of-the-match award.

While Alioski's three goal attempts and one assist showed what he is capable of in the final third, it was another statictic that really stood out in the form of his 10 successful duels.

That was more than any other Leeds player on the day and if he continues like this he will quickly become a fan favourite at Elland Road.

  Duels WonAerials WonInterceptions WonBall RecoveriesGoal AssistsKey PassesShotsAppearancesMins Played
Ezgjan Alioski 10 2 1 5 1 1 3 1 90

Creative players that also work their proverbial behind off are few and far between, but it seems Leeds have got one in Alioski, and with five ball recoveries he clearly does not sit on the periphery of a game, waiting for others to give him the ball.

There is a long way to go this season, yet on early evidence Leeds have signed the players that can fire them back into the top flight after far too long away.

Alioski will get plenty of goals and assists between now and May.  However it is his desire to fight for every single ball that could make all the difference.

Macedonia's midfielder Ezgjan Alioski attends a training session at Los Carmenes  Stadium in Granada on November 11, 2016, on the eve of their FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying football match...

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