Leeds have suffered a huge blow today as defender Luke Ayling has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. The injury was picked up in the 0-0 draw at home to Nottingham Forest on New Years Day but the right-back was confident it was only minor.
News broke today that it was far worse than first thought and Ayling is now out for the rest of the season. The defender signed from Bristol City last summer for a fee believed to be around £650k, arguably one of the best buys of the Cellino era. Ayling hit the ground running and wasn’t far off the player of the year award, only Chris Wood and Pontus Jansson were in front of himself, Kyle Bartley and Robert Green. The club today released the following statement.
“Luke Ayling faces the rest of the season on the sidelines following surgery on an ankle injury sustained in our New Year’s Day game against Nottingham Forest.
The 26-year-old right back, who signed a new long term deal with the Whites in the summer, has been an important part of Thomas Christiansen’s first eleven this season.
We will keep supporters up to date with Luke’s recovery progress.”
Ayling signed a new four-year-deal with Leeds in the summer and the question is now who will replace him. The obvious choice would be Gaetano Berardi with new signing Laurens De Bock coming in at left-back, but you also have Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Vurnon Anita who can play in those positions, even Tyler Denton has come back into the squad last week. Hopefully Ayling has a speedy recovery.