Leeds United have a big fixture this weekend against Arsenal, and after Marcelo Bielsa’s side have lost their last two games 4-1, they will be wanting to turn things around against the North London side.
Journalist for The Athletic, Phil Hay, has highlighted how ‘integral’ defender Luke Ayling is to this fixture and the Whites’ season as a whole.
Hay praises Ayling
The Journalist tweeted: ‘Premier League defenders with most passes into the final third this season – Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and next behind them, Luke Ayling. The more you look at him and analyse him, the more you realise he’s integral to everything Leeds do.’
The defender is crucial for Leeds
Last season Darren Bent raved over the player, as he said that he is ‘an excellent outlet going forward as he isn’t afraid to take players on and get crosses into the box’, while Marcelo Bielsa is also a big fan of course.
The stat that Hay has spoken about is very impressive, especially for a full back from a promoted team to be up there with the most creative defensive players in the league – let’s not forget Alexander-Arnold has already been nominated for the Ballon d’Or in his young career.
The stats from this season in the Premier League also emphasise Ayling’s importance. Defensively, he has shone, managing 3.3 tackles, 1.9 clearances and 1.1 blocks per game (WhoScored). He has been a threat at both ends of the pitch, boasting one key pass and 1.5 dribbles per game.
Therefore it is understandable to see Hay outline Ayling in the build up to the first Premier League game after the international break.
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