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Season Grade: Stuart Dallas

Northern Ireland winger had a decent season

Cardiff City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Expectations

Northern Ireland international winger Stuart Dallas was widely thought to be challenging for a starting spot on the wing for the 2016-17 season for Leeds United. He hadn’t necessarily been a regular on the wing under Garry Monk the previous season, but he was thought to at least be in contention for one of the spots on the wing along with a few others.

Performance

Dallas played in almost the same number of matches in 2017-18 as he did in 2016-17, and still only scored three goals in all competitions for Leeds, with two of them coming before the middle of September. He was injured for awhile after being out on international duty, leading Thomas Christiansen to complain about Dallas be played while the winger wasn’t 100% fit, as Christiansen felt that the injury was made worse by Dallas playing and Leeds sorely missed the winger during the stretch of time he was out.

Dallas also played a number of positions at Leeds this past season. In addition to playing as a left winger, he also lined up as a right winger, left back, and right back, filling in where ever he was needed by the manager. And while his play at fullback often left something to be desired defensively, he still gave it his all whenever he played at those positions.


Final Grade: B-

Dallas appeared to be ready to contribute on the wing and he scored two of his three goals early in the season. However, between the injury issues and the lack of a settled position meant that Dallas’ play suffered. He was a stop-gap solution at fullback after a number of players ahead of him on the roster either totally lost their form or were injured. He didn’t get enough time to form a partnership on the wing, and when Pablo Hernandez slid over to the wing to allow Samu Saiz to play in the middle, Dallas ended up on the bench or at fullback, meaning he was an afterthought for much of the season.