Leeds United were once again forced into numerous changes in their Premier League clash against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa was without three of his senior defenders, and Kalvin Phillips was also missing for the 4-2 defeat at the Emirates.
That meant that Pascal Struijk was pushed forward into midfield, meaning that Jamie Shackleton came in at right-back.
All of these changes meant that Luke Ayling played centrally.
It’s happened many times this season, and we can’t think of more than one occasion where it has worked for the Whites.
Ayling was outclassed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored his first Premier League hat-trick, something he claimed he didn’t enjoy.
The 29-year-old only won 33% of his defensive duels according to WyScout and lost possession of the ball eight times.
As well as that, he only won 56% of his total duels, and that often led to the Whites being cut open far too easily, especially in the first half.
This being changed would mean that Jamie Shackleton would be sacrificed.
The youngster impressed against Arsenal, winning all of his defensive duels and tackles, as well as only misplacing three passes all afternoon.
With Adama Traore back in favour at Wolves, we are praying for the return of Kalvin Phillips in midfield so that the defence can return to normality.
Struijk would then move back into the back four, shifting Ayling back to the right-hand side where he is far more comfortable and can offer the Whites much more going forward.
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