By George Overhill

12th Jan, 2023 | 9:10pm

Luke Ayling posts three-word message to Mateusz Klich as long-time Leeds United teammate completes DC United move

Luke Ayling was one of the first Leeds United players to react as Mateusz Klich’s move to DC United was officially confirmed on Thursday.

The Polish midfielder has been unveiled as a DC United player having been allowed to leave Elland Road early during January, with the MSL side’s boss Wayne Rooney praising the addition of the “first rate midfielder” on their website.

He leaves having become a role player off the bench under Jesse Marsch since the arrivals of Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and Brenden Aaronson in the midfield.

Commenting on a photo posted on Klich’s Instagram on Thursday (12 January) showing the player with his family on the American club’s premises, the right-back simply responded with: “What a man.”

Respect

Ayling and Klich have been pillars of the Leeds United side over recent years and were major contributors to the return to the Premier League.

With the Pole arriving in 2017 a year after Ayling they have made a combined 426 appearances for the Whites in their years at the club.

But everything has to come to an end and with the mastermind of the side that the two had such success in, Marcelo Bielsa, now gone he is gradually being followed out of Elland Road.

Klich wasn’t getting the game time on the pitch he wanted any more with the summer signings starting regularly, and Ayling is in a similar position now.

Rasmus Kristensen has largely supplanted him as the regular starter, and at 31 with his contract running down it might not be long before the defender is gone too.

He has been an important figure on Marsch’s leadership council [Leeds Live] even when he hasn’t been playing, but as the manager is increasingly backed in the transfer market it is only a matter of time before that group, and the Bielsa characters more widely move on.

In other Leeds United news, Marsch has put his foot down over a significant push to strengthen in the January transfer window.