April 11, 2024

Luke Ayling may have played his final game for Leeds United after latest Daniel Farke update

 

It has been an interesting start to the season for Leeds United, with Daniel Farke’s side starting the campaign excellently but still sitting a way away from the automatic promotion places.

While a number of the new arrivals at Elland Road have hit the ground running this season, the likes of Pascal Struijk, Illan Meslier and Crysencio Summerville have gone from strength having played a part in last season’s relegation.

One player who was part of that side who was relegated on the final day last season is Luke Ayling, but unlike Struijk and Summerville, the full-back has fallen down the Whites’ pecking order and could well have played his last game at Elland Road.

Ahead of the clash between Leeds and Blackburn Rovers on Saturdays (9 December) Farke confirmed that Ayling was a doubt for the trip to Ewood Park after suffering some problems with his knee after two days of full first-team training.

The 32-year-old has only started eight of the Whites’ 19 Championship matches this season having lost his place to 17-year-old midfielder Archie Gray, with the German preferring to operate with the teenager on the right of his defence.

Ayling hasn’t even been named among the substitutes for Leeds’ last two matches against Swansea City and Middlesbrough and his last start came all the way back in the first week of October against QPR at Elland Road.

It seems a genuine possibility that the Whites veteran could well miss his third matchday squad in a row against Blackburn if his knee issue rules him out and that may spell the end of his time with Leeds United.

While Ayling has been absent from the last two squads, one man that has returned to the bench in recent weeks is Tottenham loanee, Djed Spence, with the defender finally appearing to have shaken off the injury that blighted his start to the campaign.

The 23-year-old was signed with the expectation of being Farke’s first-choice right-back this season and now that he is fully fit you would have to imagine the German will be keen to integrate him into the starting XI sooner rather than later.

If he can establish himself as a regular in the Whites defence, that would see Gray reduced to the back-up position after his impressive performances this season and seemingly leave no place for Ayling to return to either the starting XI or the bench.

It wouldn’t have been how Leeds fans or Ayling would have hoped his career at Elland Road would have ended, but it feels as though he could well have played his last game for Leeds United, especially considering his contract is up at the end of the season.

 

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