By Adefunmiloye Alani

29th Nov, 2021 | 10:10am

Luke Ayling set for Leeds United return in Monday clash v Manchester City U23s

Leeds United right-back Luke Ayling has been injured since the Premier League clash against Newcastle in September, but he is nearing a return.

According to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay, the 30-year-old was getting his body ready to play Manchester City’s under-23s on Monday evening while the first-team were at Brighton on Saturday evening.

Ayling had surgery on the knee injury he sustained against the Magpies, and while the midweek Crystal Palace clash could come too early for him, some minutes for the under-23s could see him return to first-team action sooner rather than later.

Massive boost

Stuart Dallas, Jamie Shackleton and Diego Llorente have all been deployed at right-back in Ayling’s absence, and while they have done well, Leeds need their first-choice back in the line-up.

Should he come out of today’s game unscathed, he could be in contention to play against Brentford on Sunday or make the trip to Chelsea after that.

Marcelo Bielsa has struggled without his key men, and having Ayling back will be a massive boost.

The Whites face Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool after the Stamford Bridge clash, and they need to have enough squad depth to last for those games heading into 2022.

Patrick Bamford could also be returning soon having recently started training on the pitch, while Robin Koch could be in line for action in the coming weeks.

Leeds fans will be keeping an eye on Ayling on Monday evening, and he will be keen to prove to those watching that he is ready to hit the Elland Road turf again.

In other Leeds United news, a major update on Whites January bid to sign attacker has been provided, with pen-to-paper imminent.