Leeds United defender Luke Ayling has returned to action since having surgery on an ankle problem in July, and he was named in the side’s under-23’s squad for the clash against Watford on Monday night.
In his absence, manager Marcelo Bielsa has deployed Stuart Dallas at right-back, with the skipper featuring in all seven Championship games this term and putting in impressive shifts.
It’s hard to see Ayling breaking into the Argentine’s XI once he becomes fully fit and returns permanently to the first team.
It’s a sentiment Leeds expert Phil Hay shares as he reacted to the defender’s inclusion in the under-23s squad for Monday’s game.
Strong 23s team tonight and as Bielsa expected, Ayling back in the picture. Always thought of him as first-choice right-back at Leeds but he’ll have a job shifting Dallas:https://t.co/43jZ4RioQY
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 16, 2019
The 28-year-old featured in 38 league games last term, but his struggles with injuries and fitness means getting back into the team might now prove herculean.
Bielsa isn’t a huge fan of frequently rotating his squad, and Ayling could find playing minutes in the league hard to come by this season should Dallas remain fit and keep impressing.
Nevertheless, Leeds can now boast of solid depth at right-back, and the fierce competition between the duo will definitely benefit the club in the long-run as both will now look to keep pushing themselves all campaign.