A penny for Gjanni Alioski's thoughts on Leeds United future after emotional fanfare for departing Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez

A penny for Gjanni Alioski's thoughts as he watched and listened to Elland Road expressing its love for Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez on Sunday.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 10:05 am
EMOTIONAL FANFARE - Gjanni Alioski's good friends and team-mates Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez had standing ovations as they left Leeds United on Sunday. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

It might also have been his last game for Leeds United but with his future still up in the air, there were no Alioski chants and there was no standing ovation for the role he has played in the club's success.

He took in the fantastic welcome the entire team received as they ran out to play West Brom, and the applause for the lap of honour, but there was no special goodbye.

The chief reason for that is that he's yet to decide his future, telling a broadcaster this week that he still does not know if he will play for Leeds again.

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There is an offer on the table, however. Leeds would like him to stay. It's clear he could get more money elsewhere and all the talk of new incoming left-backs will have put a big question mark over his 21/22 game time but Sunday must surely have tugged at his heart strings.

He has an affinity with Leeds and the supporters, his unpredictable character helping him to carve out a niche place in the collective Elland Road affections. There's no doubt the lack of rebuttal for those loud, persistent rumours of a move to Galatasaray has had an impact, but try telling the the little girl who received his match-worn shirt on Sunday, having held up a cardboard sign requesting it, that he can't be her hero any more.

And although many have highlighted left-back as an area of concern, an area in need of improving, he has been solid of late. Only the Brighton performance sticks out in recent weeks, so given the quality of Leeds' opposition for the run-in he can and should be proud of what he has done on the pitch against the elite.

His understanding with Jack Harrison, who will secure a permanent move to Leeds from Manchester City this summer in one of the club's first bits of business, has been an integral part of the way Marcelo Bielsa's side play.

The head coach has seen improvement in the North Macedonian international. There are definitely arguments to be made for keeping him for at least another season.

There are definitely arguments to be made for him to move elsewhere, at this stage of his life, with his and his family's future in mind.

A glimpse inside his head would be fun at any time but right now the inner monologue must be fascinating.