By Mark Smith

31st Dec, 2019 | 1:15pm

'Fantastic season' - Parker blown away by Leeds 28y/o, claims not 'Many better' outside PL

In the final clash of 2019, there weren’t many that would have enjoyed it more than Leeds United defender Luke Ayling.

He was everywhere for the Whites in the 5-4 victory against Birmingham, scoring the third and setting up the final two goals to send the away end wild.

Ayling’s celebration for the injury-time own goal which made sure Leeds went into 2020 top of the Championship showed how much it means to him as he couldn’t hide his jubilation as the ball hit the net.

Ben Parker was selecting his Leeds team of the decade recently, and couldn’t help but shower the former Yeovil and Bristol City man in praise.

“You’re not going to get many better outside the Premier League at the moment,” he said on LUTV.

“I think he’s having a fantastic season this year, but what he offers in the changing room as well – another good lad, fun to be around, the boys will like him.”

Ayling has been through peaks and troughs during his time at Elland Road and has responded to slight criticism perfectly this season in a slightly adapted role.

Leeds have adapted to a three at the back formation more frequently this season, with Ayling on the right-hand side of that. The 28-year-old is given the freedom to get forward from that as Kalvin Phillips can then drop in and cover.

That has seen him flourish and rediscover some of his older form at Elland Road, and he is fully deserving of his spot in the team.

In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Sky Sports’ glowing coverage of West Brom star could highlight who Leeds need to watch