Former England striker Kevin Phillips has described Luke Ayling as ‘outstanding’ as he continues to excel for Leeds United.
The 29-year-old has been a superb servant for the Whites since arriving from Bristol City back in 2016, bringing quality and energy from right-back.
Ayling was a key man as Leeds made their way back into the Premier League, with four goals and 37 appearances in last year’s Championship triumph, but if there were doubts about him making the step up to the top flight, he has proved the naysayers wrong.
The Englishman has again been a model of consistency, starting all 29 of his team’s top-flight matches and rarely letting the side down at any point.
Phillips heaps praise on Ayling
That’s certainly the opinion of Phillips, who gave his thoughts on Ayling to Football Insider, heaping praise on the defender in the process and comparing him to a current Premier League ace who was once a fledgling talent at Liverpool:
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been surprised. Some players can come into the Premier League and get six or six and a half out of ten, he’s been a seven and a half or an eight in every game
“He’s a bit like Conor Coady in the way he’s adapted to the Premier League, he looks solid.
“Luke is fortunate that he plays in a team that allows him to express himself though he has the ability to do that in any team.
“That’s a credit to him as a player and his development. It looks like he’s taken on board everything his manager tells him but ultimately the player has to go and do that, he’s been outstanding for them.”
Transfer Tavern take
Ayling deserves all the plaudits he receives, considering the job he does for Leeds, offering constant energy down the right flank and also defending doggedly. Just two Whites players have won more headers per game than the 29-year-old, while only Liam Cooper exceeds his match average of 2.7 tackles. Also, his dribbling per game average of 1.2 is second only to Raphinha. [WhoScored]
He is unfortunate that there are a plethora of top-class options at right-back for England, or else he may have earned a call-up by now.
In other news: Adam Forshaw has hailed one exciting Leeds prospect, comparing him to two past greats of the game. Read more here.
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