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Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United have tied full-back Luke Ayling to the club by agreeing on a new four-year deal with the former Yeovil and Bristol City man.
The 26-year-old joined the Yorkshire side from City back in August last year and has made well over 50 appearances for the club across all competitions. Ayling is also the only player to have played all 15 of Leeds’ games this term.
Thomas Christiansen’s team have had a wobble of late and sit 4th in the table now after an encouraging start, though the morale boosting win at Ayling’s former side this weekend has set the path for them to get right back on track in the promotion race.
Here we look at three reasons why Ayling’s new deal is a good thing for Leeds United in the current climate:
Players transfer around so fast these days under the influence of agents who, in relative terms, earn more than anyone else in the game by keeping the players on the move.
This is to the detriment of the clubs and to the game as a whole though and so ensuring that Ayling remains the club’s right-back for the medium term at least is very definitely a good thing for Leeds. Ayling continues to get better and so Leeds have recognised that an improving Ayling who is already settled at the club is a better option than selling him and buying another one next summer.
Clubs and fans need to know that the players they are paying and cheering for week after week are actually on the same page as everyone else. So Ayling committing to the club shows that he wants to fight for promotion with Leeds and will not simply wait for a move.
Football is a two-way street. So while players expect to be treated well by clubs, they also need to stay and fight for the cause now and then. And so with little to choose between Ayling and Charlie Taylor on ability, it’s great to see such a difference in commitment to the Leeds cause.
A lot is made in the modern game, too much perhaps, about players being versatile but the very best clubs in the world don’t seem to see things this way.
Barcelona for example, line up every week in their 4-3-3 formation and every player knows his job; this is something that can’t be underestimated. Luke Ayling is nothing but a right-back these days and so plying his trade in this position game after game, week after week can only mean him honing his skills and improving to no end.