By Dan Carter

10th Sep, 2023 | 2:10pm

David Prutton urges Leeds United to find a way to start 'both' Djed Spence and Luke Ayling

David Prutton has urged Leeds United to find a way of playing both Djed Spence and Luke Ayling together following the international break.

Spence was signed on a season-long loan from Tottenham in the summer and impressed in his short debut from the bench against Sheffield Wednesday, leading many to suggest that he has to start for the Whites following the international break.

But Ayling has impressed in the early stages of the season and having been a regular for Leeds both in the Championship and the Premier League, he is a hard man to drop, leading Prutton to suggest that the two could play together.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post on Sunday (10 September) the former midfielder said: “If there’s a way of getting them both in then great. I think Djed’s qualities getting forward means that he wouldn’t be a fish out of water if he was playing further up the pitch if you had Luke behind him.

“That’s what he did so well at Forest with one bombing forward and one tucking in and filling in for each other. Given the qualities of the player and the abilities of the player, specifically at this level, then they are going to have to try to find a way to get Djed in, both in.”

Can it be done?

It feels as though in the modern footballing world there is very little that can’t be done with full-backs. Half of the Premier League now utilise their wide defenders as holding midfielders, so surely there must be a way to include both Spence and Ayling.

Seemingly the most obvious call would be to play one of the pair on the left side of defence, especially when considering the fact the Whites don’t have many options at left-back at the moment. Although it is a different position the fundamental principles of the two are very similar.

Playing Spence further forward seems a sensible suggestion, but Daniel Farke already has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal on the wing, and although the former Forest man is so effective, can he displace the likes of Wilfried Gnonto or Crysencio Summerville?

There will be a way of getting both players in the side, but it will likely mean a reshuffle of personnel and formation and given the good performances of Leeds in the early stages of the season, it would feel strange to throw all of that immediately out the window.

It may instead be a case of Ayling passing the torch onto Spence instead of accommodating both. At the end of the day, the Championship is a gruelling slog of a division and the season ahead remains incredibly long, both right-backs will have their role to play.

In other Leeds United news, Angus Kinnear has hit out at two former United players over how they departed Elland Road