Championship

Unsung Hero: Leeds United’s Luke Ayling’s stellar performance shouldn’t have gone unnoticed

Unsung Hero: Leeds United’s Luke Ayling’s stellar performance shouldn’t have gone unnoticed

Leeds United managed to put the sword to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, however it would seem one player’s performance somehow managed to go a little unnoticed when perhaps, it should not have.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side managed to make a return to the top of the Championship table following their 2-0 win at Elland Road against the west-London outfit, leapfrogging Swansea City in the process by virtue of goal difference (Sky Sports).

Indeed, Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison are likely to take the majority of the plaudits and, whilst that would not be something that can be argued against, one man might feel his own personal performance was deserving of a little more praise than it appeared to get.

Luke Ayling has been a key figure for Leeds and has been a mainstay for Bielsa when he has been available for selection, however to say he has had a difficult time at Elland Road recently might be putting things a little lightly.

The £2.25m-rated right-back (per TransferMarkt) has suffered his fair share of injuries and was forced to miss the beginning of the season with a troublesome ankle problem that required surgery (BBC).

However, the 28-year-old has since returned to the fold and has played in the last six Championship matches for the Whites, taking back the captains armband as well.

Whilst it may not be a surprise that he performed well, just how well he did play appeared to be glossed over a little too easily, although that might be because of the expectations many hold for him at Elland Road.

Leeds Live handed Ayling a score of six in their player ratings for his display against QPR on Saturday afternoon, however, divulging into his individual statistics for the game may suggest that he deserved a far greater score, as he looked comfortable in a back-three for Bielsa’s side.

According to data collected by WhoScored, the skipper managed to make one tackle, two interceptions and a chart-topping four clearances for Leeds, whilst he also managed to produce two key passes for his team-mates when playing the ball forward.

Being handed a match rating of 7.36 by the data analysts was probably a figure that he was deserving of, rather than the six from the local media outlet.

Indeed, Ayling is, perhaps, still easing himself back into action for the Whites following a lengthy spell on the sidelines, however that should have made his performance all the more impressive on Saturday afternoon.

Leeds fans, what did you make of Ayling’s performance? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them below!

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