Barry Douglas limping off last night wasn’t what we wanted to see. The squad is stretched as it is and Douglas isn’t a player we want to be losing for any period of time. Of all the signings made by the club in the summer this has been the one that’s stood out and we have to hope the injury isn’t too serious.
Leeds do have other options in the left-back role but none as dynamic as Barry Douglas. The Scottish full-back made more goals than any other player in the division last season and has started this campaign at Leeds like a man on a mission. Everyone, including Wolves fans were shocked that he was allowed to leave the club and even more so that Leeds managed to pay just £3 million for a player very much in his prime. Wolves’ loss was Leeds’ gain and Douglas arrived as the first permanent signing at the club under Marcelo Bielsa.
In terms of what could happen if Douglas is out for a game or two, or longer then the options are very different. The obvious choice for me is Tom Pearce. The young left-back has been very patient under Bielsa so far, captaining the under 23’s at times and appearing in League Cup games. The next option and the one I would expect Bielsa to go with is Stuart Dallas. The Northern Ireland international can play all over the park and was the player who moved into the left-back role last night rather than Tom Pearce who was on the bench.
Gaetano Berardi could play at left-back but is another who’s injured and it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Leeds go to a back three, with Phillips in at right centre-back and Luke Ayling and Gjanni Alioksi as wing-backs. Alioksi played that role for the last part of the game at home to Birmingham and it seems to suit him better. He is often criticised when playing as an out-and-out winger but he’s probably the hardest worker in the side and he can certainly add something in a different role as well.
Hopefully Barry Douglas is fit but given recent luck with injuries it wouldn’t be any sort of surprise to hear Douglas won’t be playing on Saturday.