Leeds United hero Luke Ayling has achieved an incredible statistic that outlines the enormous influence he has had for the Whites this season.
The Lowdown: Ayling continues to shine
The 29-year-old has been a stalwart of the Marcelo Bielsa era, as well as prior to the Argentine arriving, making 188 appearances for the club in total.
Ayling has brought a consistent level of quality from right-back, combining dogged defensive work with attacking forays, proving to be a fans’ favourite in the process.
The Latest: Ayling beats Messi
The Englishman’s influence is appreciated by Leeds supporters, but other fans may also sit up and take notice after his latest achievement.
According to OptaJoe on Twitter, Ayling has progressed the ball up the pitch more distance than any player in Europe’s top five league this season – a total of 5,421 metres.
In second place is a certain Barcelona legend called Lionel Messi (5,244), with Ruben Dias (5,180), Theo Hernandez (5,111) and Jonathan Gradit (5,017) making up the top-five.
The Verdict: Ayling’s influence highlighted
To pip Messi to anything on a football pitch takes some doing, so Ayling should feel immensely proud of his efforts, as he continues to show off his influence for Leeds.
He is such a forward-thinking player in everything he does, proving to be the perfect full-back for Bielsa, providing endless energy and quality, missing just 20 minutes of Premier League action this season.
Ayling’s lively personality also seems to rub off on those around him and it may only be when he slows up or leaves that he is fully appreciated on a wider scale.
In other news, one pundit is hugely excited about Leeds’ interest in an international player. Find out who it is here.
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