Marcelo Bielsa compares Stuart Dallas to one of his Argentina stars
He has been dubbed the Cookstown Cafu in his native Northern Ireland – and now Marcelo Bielsa has compared Stuart Dallas to Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti.
Bielsa coached Zanetti with Argentina between 1998 and 2004 and the former Inter captain was adept in both full-back positions as well as midfield.
Dallas has also operated in these areas for Leeds this season and Bielsa says he is like Zanetti, who won 143 caps, because of his versatility.
“I had a player like Dallas, Javier Zanetti, and also Julio Saldana, who I had when I first managed at Newell’s,” said Bielsa.
“Those two players are very like Dallas in terms of their versatility.
“Dallas is a very potent, powerful player. He can play with either foot, his right or his left, he’s good defending.
“He has the capacity to combine as well as make runs, which allows him to flourish playing in the middle.
“He has a change of rhythm and surprise when he attacks. It’s very difficult to find all that in just one player.”
Dallas is Leeds’ man of the moment after his double earned them a famous win over champions-elect Manchester City and he celebrated his 30 th birthday on Monday.
The Northern Ireland international’s two strikes against City took his Premier League tally to seven goals and two assists and Bielsa admits he is surprised by his strike rate.
“The role Dallas has in the team at the moment is the role that Mateusz Klich had,” said the Leeds head coach.
“Dallas started to play in this position and showed different ways of playing.
“He has managed to have a marked impact on our finishing. In that sense, this is a novelty, even though he is well capable of scoring goals.”
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