No-one had heard of Ezgjan Alioski before Leeds United made him one of their more prominent signings of the summer transfer window. When his name was announced, Internet searches surged as fans looked for snippets about him.
What they would have found is that Prilep-born winger would be arriving from Swiss Super League side FC Lugano after something of a headline campaign for the 2016/17 season.
Last season the pacey winger notched up an astonishing 16 goals and 14 assists, a record that earned him £2.2 million transfer to Leeds United and the Sky Bet Championship. So far this campaign, and with 15 games left to play, ‘Gianni’ has made 29 appearances for the Whites.
However, and probably quite understandably, he hasn’t hit the dizzy heights of last season, instead having scored just the five goals and provided four assists for the Whites. Still, considering the step up in competition, that isn’t a return to be sniffed at by any means.
At Leeds, not all fans remain convinced with the Macedonian international with some openly criticising him on social media for what they see as style over substance, flamboyance over real graft.
That could be seen in response to the following tweet by Leeds United wishing their winger all the best on his birthday.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) February 12, 2018
Leeds United fans respond to Alioski birthday tweet – clear dichotomy
Here’s the ones taking the opportunity to have a dig, some harsher than others.
Bet he overhead kicks his presents
— Tom Huffinley (@TomHuffinley) February 12, 2018
Everyday is his birthday while he’s stealing a living playing for #LUFC
— BigGunsGruff (@grizzly_adams85) February 12, 2018
About time he retired
— Jord (@_JordAdams) February 12, 2018
Cam we train him how to take on a man?
— Tony (@Tonylufc28) February 12, 2018
Will there be highlights of his best presents ?
— jamie Bridge (@jamiebridge1) February 12, 2018
Wonder how this man’s days going to go. Somebody gives him “birthday beats” and hel fall down clutching his leg or something
— Daniel Hawkridge ™ (@DanielHawkridg1) February 12, 2018
Let’s give him the bumps. Back to Macedonia or wherever he came from.
— Enoch (@Showunmi21) February 12, 2018
Not all Leeds United fans commenting are like this though, some have genuine good wishes.
One of the players who works his arse off even if he knows he isn’t playing well. Happy birthday @ezgjanalioski
— Kian😎 (@DUDUDUDUDUDUTC) February 12, 2018
Happy birthday have amazing day love you xxxxx
— Melissa Ann Capes (@Melissaanncapes) February 12, 2018
Happy Birthday to the star man! This guy must have 3 lungs. Say what you want about him but you cant deny he works his arse off!!
— Brandon Yates (@BrandonYatess) February 12, 2018
— Subegh Srao (@subegh_srao) February 12, 2018