By Craig Scott

5th Oct, 2022 | 5:40pm

He’s played 222 times for Leeds United since his arrival from Bristol City in 2016 but it seems Luke Ayling’s time at Elland Road could be coming to an end.

Ayling’s contract at the West Yorkshire club expires next summer and developments over the last five or so months suggests that he’ll be looking for a new home before the 2023/24 season comes around.

In the summer, Leeds spent a lot of money on signing a new right-back in Rasmus Kristensen, a Denmark international who’s so far started all but one match this term.

Ayling has been fit for the last two matches, coming off the bench as a second-half substitute. But it really doesn’t feel as though he’ll be snatching the starting right-back role back off Kristensen any time soon.

Ayling’s idiocy at the end of last season surely didn’t help.

As the Whites battled to avoid relegation, Ayling got himself suspended for the final three matches of the campaign with a reckless, pointless red card against Arsenal.

After his two-footed challenge on Gabriel Martinelli, pundits ripped into Ayling with Stephen Warnock saying it was “ridiculous” and “stupid”. Alan Shearer was also unimpressed by Ayling’s stupidity as it put Leeds’ top-flight status under threat.

Luckily for him, Burnley’s poor end to the season and a Raphinha-inspired win at Brentford meant Leeds avoided the drop. But was Ayling’s status in the Leeds squad ruined?

It does seem that way.

On 7 April, The Mirror reported in their print edition (page 53) how Ayling has asked Leeds’ hierarchy to offer him a new contract because he wanted to spend the rest of his career at Elland Road.

It seems that request has fallen upon deaf ears.

Leeds not only have Kristensen, they also have youngster Cody Drameh and the currently-injured Stuart Dallas who can star at right-back so it’s not an area of major concern.

Ayling has been part of the furniture at Elland Road but it feels as though his time as a Leeds player is running out.

In other Leeds United news, Chris Sutton says this Leeds man is one to watch at the World Cup for all the wrong reasons.