Leeds United have received a ‘huge’ boost with the return of Luke Ayling from injury, Paul Robinson has told MOT Leeds News.
Ayling hasn’t started a Premier League game for Leeds since the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal back in May.
He picked up a red card just 27 minutes into that match, meaning he was suspended for the final three rounds of the season.
Ayling then took the opportunity to undergo surgery on a long-standing knee problem.
Last time out against Brentford, Ayling came on as a substitute, playing the final 20 minutes.
And on Friday night, he got another 81 minutes under his belt in a Premier League 2 clash with Southampton at Elland Road.
Robinson, who played for Leeds between 1998 and 2004, says Ayling’s long-awaited return to full fitness will be a significant moment both on the pitch and in the dressing room.
He said: “Ayling’s been missing for a long time so to have him back, on and off the field, would be a huge boost.”
Leeds’ first team don’t have a game this weekend after their clash with Manchester United was postponed.
But Ayling now looks primed to push for a starting role when the Whites are next in action against Aston Villa on 2 October.
Rasmus Kristensen, the summer signing from Red Bull Salzburg with whom Ayling will compete for the right-back role, missed the trip to Brentford through injury.
He’s expected to be available once again for the visit of Villa, and so Jesse Marsch could be left with a welcome selection headache.
Perhaps he might favour Ayling on the basis of the leadership qualities to which Robinson alludes.
Indeed, the Englishman donned the captain’s armband for 16 of his side’s top-flight fixtures last season.
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