Why Barry Douglas should leave Leeds United if his struggles continue
According to claims from Football Insider, as cited by Stoke-on-Trent-Live, Leeds United left-back Barry Douglas has been tipped for an exit by former Whites’ striker Noel Whelan, who believes that the 30-year-old’s career is being wasted at Elland Road.
Whelan, who rose through the youth system at Leeds, has advised Douglas to seek greener pastures next summer if he continues to play a bit-part role under Marcelo Bielsa (Stoke Sentinel h/t Football Insider).
The Whites legend has further added that Douglas is currently the best left-back in the club’s ranks but he is simply not doing justice to his reputation, with Whelan throwing light on the 30-year-old struggles following his move from Wolverhampton Wanderers back in the summer of 2018 (Football Insider h/t Stoke Sentinel).
Despite arriving at Elland Road from Wolves on the back of a promotion-winning campaign, the 30-year-old’s debut season in West Yorkshire proved to be somewhat of a disappointment. In fact, Douglas never managed to make the left-back spot his own under Bielsa.
The Glasgow-born defender started 21 league games for Leeds during the 2018-19 campaign and chipped in with 5 assists but that wasn’t anywhere near what he had achieved at Molineux in the previous season.
To make matters worse, recurrent injuries had stalled his progress just when he was beginning to establish himself.
A hamstring injury forced him out of action in October and while he returned to action after a short spell on the sidelines, the left-back spent almost the entirety of the second half of the previous campaign on the treatment table.
Douglas’ prolonged absence from the first-team fold last season forced Bielsa to start relying on the likes of Ezgjan Alioski and Stuart Dallas as makeshift options at left-back.
As a result, Douglas currently finds himself usurped in the pecking order, despite being a specialist left-back.
Having started the club’s first three Championship fixtures against Bristol City, Nottingham Forest and Wigan Athletic, Barry Douglas has been restricted to only four substitute appearances.
Now, with Douglas constantly finding himself in and out of the team and his contract at Elland Road set to expire in 2021, the Whites certainly need to make a decision on his future in January or next summer.
Looking at things from the player’s perspective, Barry Douglas might have struggled to make an impact at Elland Road but he remains a quality left-back at the Championship level. At 30, he still has a lot to offer than to simply waste his time by warming the benches.
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With that in mind, Douglas must pay heed to Noel Whelan’s words of wisdom and try to force through a move from Elland Road next summer in a bid to resurrect his career.