By Pranav Shahaney

11th Apr, 2023 | 9:10am

Phil Hay delivers verdict on Leeds United defender Luke Ayling amid recent performances

Phil Hay believes that Leeds United defender Luke Ayling has struggled in the last few games and has cost his team goals.

Even in the 5-1 defeat against Crystal Palace on Sunday, 9 April, the Englishman lost Jordan Ayew for a header which led to a goal.

Ayling has been preferred to Rasmus Kristensen by Javi Gracia despite impressive performances from the Denmark international.

The Athletic’s Hay told the Square Ball, “It’s not been easy for him in the last few games and I do think that’s been a point of weakness. It was him who lost Ayew for his header for 2-1 and you could see him holding his head with his hands and you could see him thinking ‘You shouldn’t have done that.’ [14:21]

Time to plan ahead

Ayling has had a number of amazing years at Elland Road and he’s now in the twilight of his career and his performances are waning.

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No Leeds fan has anything but love in their hearts for Billy but they will admit that he’s starting to cost his team points on a regular basis.

It may be time for the club to let him go for good and think of ways to build the squad without him in the future.

Cody Drameh’s out on loan and will perhaps stay on if he’s guaranteed a first-team spot next season and that will only happen if Ayling leaves.

Alternatively, he can stay on as a third-choice right-back and also drop in to play as a centre-back when needed.

He does have the versatility to do that and more importantly is seen as a key voice inside the dressing room.

His leadership may help the younger players a tremendous deal and for that reason, he may be asked to stay on.

Regardless, he’s done more than what anyone would’ve thought and will always be fondly remembered by the fans.

In other Leeds United news, Ian Wright cannot believe his eyes after footage surfaces of a Leeds player on social media.

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