Kevin Campbell believes Luke Ayling’s lengthy injury absence is a huge blow for Leeds United, after news emerged that the defender required surgery.
The Lowdown: Ayling missing for Leeds
The 30-year-old hasn’t featured for the Whites since the 1-1 draw away to Newcastle United last month, having picked a knee issue.
Ayling is to be missing for a considerable period after the news broke last week that he needed surgery, with an absence of around six weeks expected, meaning it will be well into the hectic winter fixture schedule before he returns.
The Latest: Pundit bemoans absence
“He’ll be a big miss if he’s out for that long. Leeds have some crucial fixtures coming up after the internationals.
“Ayling is Mr. Reliable and you will only ever see him out of the side if he’s got a bad injury. He’s been brilliant for them over the past couple of seasons and has been virtually ever-present.
“Injuries happen to everybody though. It is so important to have a player who can plug the gap until he is back.
“Shackleton has been very good but I still think they will really miss Ayling. He is a fantastic player who can chip in with a goal or two as well. He’s so consistent at right-back and consistency is the key. He gives you a seven or eight out of 10 every week.”
The Verdict: Huge loss for Whites
Ayling has been a fantastic servant for Leeds and there is no denying that they lose a lot when he isn’t in the team.
The 30-year-old possesses a big character and leadership from right-back, but he also brings so much energy and quality, both in an attacking and defensive sense.
Ayling’s screamer at Manchester United on the opening weekend of the season showed what he is capable of ability-wise, but he has averaged 2.2 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game in the Premier League this season, too, which is really where he shines.
In other news, a pundit has been critical of one Leeds player. Find out who it is here.
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