By Sam Stone

17th Nov, 2022 | 11:40am

Leeds United end for Luke Ayling could open door for Harrison Ashby to complete Elland Road move

Luke Ayling has been linked with a move away from Leeds United – and if the Elland Road stalwart does depart the Whites could quickly move to replace him.

It’s been suggested by TEAMtalk’s Graeme Bailey (16 November) that Ayling could well be on his way out of the club, with there being teams “interested” in the 31-year-old. There’s no doubt the defender would be an excellent addition to any lower-half Premier League or top-half Championship side.

However, with the addition of Rasmus Kristensen, his playing time has been limited in the 2022/23 season, with substitute appearances making up the bulk of his minutes for the Whites. It’s not really a surprise to see Kristensen as Jesse Marsch’s first choice after his big-money move from RB Salzburg in the summer.

At the moment, it’s hard to see Leeds sanctioning a winter exit for Ayling, particularly as Cody Drameh has been linked with a move away from the club (Fabrizio Romano, 14 November). It’s unlikely the club will let both leave in January.

If and when one of the pair do depart, Leeds could well reignite their pursuit of wantaway West Ham United right-back Harrison Ashby. The 21-year-old has failed to come to terms at the London Stadium and now looks destined to leave the club (ExWHUemployee, 10 November).

According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon (Patreon on 1 September), Leeds were looking to make a deadline-day move for Ashby. With news of Ayling potentially leaving and Drameh facing an uncertain future, it would not be a surprise to see the Whites’ interest in the youngster escalate again.

With Ayling seemingly on the way out, more should potentially be done to keep Drameh at the club. If the youngster isn’t given first-team chances, he will, without a doubt, begin to look for opportunities elsewhere.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has revealed the whispers he’s heard at Elland Road about when the 49ers will complete their takeover.