Leeds United duo Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford have made ‘really encouraging’ returns from injury, according to journalist Phil Hay.
The Lowdown: Key Leeds pair return to action
The Whites have had make do without the influential pair since the middle of September, with injuries striking both of them down.
Both Ayling and Bamford made hugely pleasing returns to action on Monday evening, though, playing for Leeds’ under-23s in their 3-2 defeat to Manchester City.
The Latest: Hay in positive spirits
Taking to Twitter after Monday’s game, Hay admitted that it was “really encouraging to see” the duo back on the pitch, his tweet accompanied by an article for The Athletic which outlined ‘how Ayling can help to revive one of Leeds’ core strengths and why Bamford is inevitably missed’.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side host Crystal Palace in the Premier League tonight, and while that match will surely come too soon for the returning pair, they could hopefully feature at home to Brentford on Sunday.
The Verdict: Major boost for Whites
Put simply, Leeds aren’t the same team without Ayling and Bamford around, with both proving to be pivotal figures in recent campaigns.
The former provides constant energy from right-back, not to mention leadership having captained the Whites in the past, while the latter’s goals have been missed hugely. He netted 17 in the top flight last season; Leeds have managed just seven in the eight matches he has missed since getting injured at Newcastle in mid-September.
Bamford also has the ability to bring the best out in others, dropping deep to link up with team-mates and creating space in behind for the wingers.
Leeds need to get their season going after a slow start, and the impending returns of Ayling and Bamford could be exactly the spark for a winter revival.
In other news, Danny Mills has been critical of one Leeds player’s impact. Find out who it is here.
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