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Leeds United: Alan Hutton heaps praise on Luke Ayling after pivotal weekend performance at Birmingham City

Leeds United: Alan Hutton heaps praise on Luke Ayling after pivotal weekend performance at Birmingham City - Leeds United

Former Premier League footballer Alan Hutton has lauded Leeds United defender Luke Ayling after he played a vital role in the Whites’ dramatic 5-4 victory over Birmingham City to return to the top of the Championship table.

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Ayling scored one and assisted another during their epic win at St. Andrew’s, while he also set up the eventual winner which was knocked into his own net by the unfortunate Wes Harding.

Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton singled out the defender, praising his energy and hinting that the Premier League would provide a testing challenge for the 28-year-old if Leeds are promoted.

He said: “I’ve actually always liked him as a player, great energy. I think the way that [Marcelo] Bielsa plays and the demands – the energy, high pressure – I was watching him and he was up and down all day, his stats are unbelievable.

“He plays well there, he gets the licence to go forward but he’s also a very good defender. He’s a very good player. Obviously, if they come up, he’ll be tested – then we’ll find out exactly what he’s capable of.

“As I’ve seen him at the moment, I think he’s got all the qualities to be a really good player.”

Ayling certainly had a great individual game at the weekend despite conceding four goals. As mentioned earlier, he was directly involved in three of Leeds’ five, with his superb effort from the edge of the box his first for nearly nine months.

According to WhoScored, he was also among Leeds’ best performers on Sunday, with only Jack Harrison (8.38/10) recording a higher match rating than Ayling (8.08).

Meanwhile, the defender made the joint-most key passes, while no player made more tackles than Ayling’s tally of three – which was only matched by Mateusz Klich and Birmingham’s Gary Gardner.

Therefore, it is hardly surprising he stood out to Hutton, and with his efforts helping Leeds to further enhance their chances of securing a long-awaited return to the Premier League, perhaps it won’t be too long before Ayling will be attempting to unlock top-flight defences as he did at the weekend.

Leeds fans, how crucial is Ayling to the side as you seek promotion? Let us know below!


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Article title: Leeds United: Alan Hutton heaps praise on Luke Ayling after pivotal weekend performance at Birmingham City

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