Luke Ayling has been an absolute revelation for Leeds United this season.
So much so, he was being mentioned as a possible England player ahead of the squad announcement by Gareth Southgate.
He didn’t make the squad in the end but for him to be mentioned is a huge achievement for a player who cost Leeds much less than £1m.
However, he had a very poor game on Friday as Leeds finally bust the London curse.
Ayling lost possession 30 times for Leeds – the most of any player on the pitch. [SofaScore]
That’s 10x more than Gjanni Alioksi on the left, a player who has come in for the most criticism of any Leeds player this season.
But it was Ayling’s defending for the Fulham goal that was really bad – and he let Marcelo Bielsa down badly from the corner that led to Joachim Andersen’s first-ever goal for his club.
Ayling was tasked with marking Joachim Anderson and the Fulham man looked the more determined right from the start of the battle.
Ayling was more intent on wrestling his man than keeping an eye on the ball. Andersen was strong enough to hold Ayling off.
Andersen could see the ball come in and Ayling was about to hit the ground. It left Andersen with a simple tap-in, into an empty net.
This time, Leeds came back to win the game 2-1 but this could have been a really costly goal in a game where we were really comfortable at the back.
Conceding from set-pieces isn’t a problem that’s just for Ayling to worry about, but this isn’t the first time this accusation can be levelled at him.
It’s probably the biggest problem that Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa have got going into next season.
In other Leeds United news, View: Two first-team players expected to play for Leeds Under-23s on Monday