Former Leeds United star John Giles has been buzzing about the club’s defender Luke Ayling recently.
Giles appeared as a guest on the latest episode of the OTB Football podcast and the panel talked about numerous issues involving the Premier League. One topic of discussion was Luke Ayling and his performances for the Whites this season.
Giles made it clear that he’ll have the Leeds man at right-back in his Premier League team of the season. The former Leeds man hailed Ayling for the different roles he has played for the club under Marcelo Bielsa.
Is Ayling good enough to play for England?
The 29-year-old Ayling has played at various levels of the English game in his career and he joined Leeds from Bristol City in the summer of 2016. He has been at Leeds since their time in the Championship.
Giles made it clear that if he picked an England team, he’d put Ayling at right-back in that side.
He said: “I’m going to pick it [team of the season] next week but I’ll have him at right-back. I think he’s the best, I think he’s outstanding.
“Every time I see him, he’s doing the right thing for the team. He defends well, he gets on the ball, he can play centre-back. I think he’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant. If I was picking the England team, I’d definitely have him in it.”
TIF Thoughts on Ayling…
Ayling, who is valued at £4.5 million (as per Transfermarkt), has made 37 Premier League appearances this season, playing every single game for the Whites so far. He has grabbed a rating of 6.96 for the side and only six Leeds players have grabbed a higher rating than the Englishman (as per Whoscored).
He has been the club’s best tackler and he has completed the joint second-highest number of dribbles per game as well. Only three Leeds players have won more aerial duels per game than Ayling.
This shows that Ayling has certainly had a very good campaign and while England do have multiple options at right-back, Leeds should recognise Ayling’s importance to their side.