Leeds: Jesse Marsch suffers 'huge blow' at Elland Road

Leeds manager Jesse Marsch in Premier League game against Manchester City

Stuart Dallas‘ season-ending injury is a “huge blow” for Leeds, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The 56-cap Northern Ireland international has started every Premier League game this season, but he will miss the Whites’ final three fixtures following an injury sustained against Manchester City.

What happened to Dallas?

It’s been another stellar campaign for the versatile Leeds ace, who’s played in no fewer than five positions, including at right-back, left-back and on the left-side of midfield.

Dallas’ ability to play in a number of different positions has proved priceless this term after Leeds’ wretched injury problems.

Of late, Dallas has been covering Junior Firpo on the left, although his return against the Premier League champions allowed the ex-Brentford man to start at right-back.

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But his joy lasted just 45 minutes after he was replaced at half-time following a challenge with City’s Jack Grealish.

Dallas broke his leg, and he has since undergone surgery after suffering a femoral fracture, which forced him to leave Elland Road on a stretcher.

To compound their misery, Leeds were beaten 4-0 and are now just two points above the bottom three after Everton’s win over Chelsea 24 hours later.

What did O’Rourke say about Dallas?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s a huge blow for Leeds to lose someone like Stuart Dallas, especially at such a crucial stage of the season, you want all of your best players fit.

“We know how important Stuart Dallas is to Leeds, he can play in so many positions, which he has done in the past. He’s played in midfield and defence and would probably play up front if he was asked to by Leeds.”

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Who could start in Dallas’ absence?

Jesse Marsch opted to change the formation against City, starting Firpo, with Dallas switching to the right and Luke Ayling moving inside as one of the three centre-backs.

Therefore, providing Marsch has no fresh injuries from the game last Saturday, Firpo and Ayling are likely to be the full-backs, with an extra attacking player replacing the injured Dallas, with Leeds possibly returning to a flat back four.

Dan James had started every Premier League game in 2022 prior, so he’ll be hopeful of earning a recall in place of Dallas when Leeds travel to Arsenal, although Marsch does have the option of sticking with a back three, which could see Diego Llorente return to the line-up and Ayling move to right wing-back.

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