Journalist Beren Cross has strongly praised Leeds United defender Luke Ayling after his return to the side following a bad injury.
The defender missed the end of last season, having to have surgery on his knee, and finally took to the pitch again for the first time this term over the weekend.
Indeed, it wasn’t a great day for the Whites as they were thumped 5-2 in the Premier League by rivals Brentford, but Ayling impressed in his 20-minute cameo – even delivering an assist.
This was something that Cross noted in a recent Facebook post, while he also pointed out some other impressive stats from the veteran Leeds United right-back, labelling him as ‘one of the big silver linings’ on an otherwise disappointing day.
The journalist wrote: “With 48 hours passed to let Saturday sink in some more, it’s easy to see one of the big silver linings of the day was Luke Ayling.
“Watched the club buy what was effectively his replacement as he continued the long road back from surgery, unable to defend his shirt, and then in 21 minutes, he delivers what everyone’s been waiting for at full-back.
“Completed three dribbles in his cameo from the bench. Kristensen’s completed one in 450 minutes.”
TIF Thoughts on Luke Ayling and Leeds…
As Cross alludes to, Leeds spent around £10m in the summer to sign Denmark right-back Rasmus Kristensen from Red Bull Salzburg.
This undoubtedly would have been of some concern for Ayling, who would have known that he would be initially unable to fight for his spot in the team while out injured.
Though with 221 appearances under his belt for the Whites and one promotion following their Championship title win, the 31-year-old clearly knows how to perform with the club under pressure.
And despite this competition for his spot now and the sizeable challenge of returning after so long out with injury, Ayling certainly did deliver in his 20-minute spell off the bench against Brentford.
Evidently, he’s not quite ready to give up his place in the side to Kristensen just yet.