No way back for Leeds duo if Marcelo Bielsa converts Stuart Dallas

Leeds United's Stuart Dallas battles with Birmingham City's Jacques Maghoma during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Birmingham City at Elland Road on September 22,...

Dallas started at left-back on Saturday as Leeds drew with Brentford.

Leeds United's Stuart Dallas is fouled by Birmingham City's Gary Gardner during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Birmingham City at Elland Road on September 22, 2018...

Marcelo Bielsa's decision to play Stuart Dallas at left-back on Saturday afternoon during Leeds United's 1-1 draw with Brentford certainly rose a few eyebrows - but it could mean a lot more for two out-of-favour Leeds players.

The 27-year-old is normally recognised as a winger, and has played on the flanks when used by Bielsa this season - mostly from the bench.

But with Barry Douglas out injured, Bielsa was forced to make a decision. Throw youngster Tom Pearce into the mix for his first Championship appearances of the season, or try the more experienced Dallas out of position.

 

It was the Northern Ireland international's first start of the season despite making eight appearances so far, and he adapted well on the left side of defence as Leeds rescued a point late on through Pontus Jansson.

While England youth international Pearce will be frustrated that he was not given a chance to show Bielsa that he is capable of acting as Douglas' back-up on the left side of defence - the signs will be more ominous for two others.

Laurens De Bock and Tyler Denton both left the club on loan this summer, joining KV Oostende and Peterborough United respectively - but neither have particularly impressed.

Yohan Boli and Laurens De Bock fight for the ball during the Jupiler Pro League match between Sint-Truidense V.V. and KV Oostende at Stayen on September 1, 2018 in Sint-Truiden, Belgium.

Denton has managed just two appearances for the League One side all season, leaving him with little chance to show Leeds and Bielsa why he deserves to remain on the books.

Similarly, De Bock has been left on the bench by Oostende for their last two league games, and was not even involved in the squad prior to that. If Bielsa converts Dallas, De Bock and Denton's time at Leeds is surely over.

Time will tell if the duo get more time at their loan sides but with Douglas a doubt for the clash against Blackburn after the international break, Dallas could get the nod, meaning the signs for De Bock and Denton suggest elsewhere.

Tyler Denton of Port Vale during The Emirates FA Cup First Round match between Port Vale and Oxford United at Vale Park on November 3, 2017 in Burslem, England.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch