By Pranav Shahaney

10th Feb, 2022 | 7:30pm

Phil Hay: Leeds United facing difficult decisions with old guard

Leeds United will be facing difficult decisions with replacing the old guard as they look to build a side for the future, according to Phil Hay.

The Athletic journalist was quizzed about Luke Ayling’s future after his dismal performance in the 3-3 draw against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

While agreeing with the fan’s assessment of the Englishman, he said that the club needs to be respectful with the decisions they make.

Hay wrote, “He had a tough night, no doubt. Nobody lasts forever and as Leeds go on, they’ll have difficult decisions to make about the old guard who’ve served them so well. You always need to be respectful without being sentimental.”

Makes sense

The likes of Ayling, Liam Cooper, Mateusz Klich have served the club well in the past, but their performances have declined.

One can understand Marcelo Bielsa’s loyalty towards the players that have been there through thick and thin, but he needs to move on from them.

All three have had moments where many have questioned whether they’re still good enough for the job.

New signings and younger ones are needed and hopefully, recruitment improves in the summer.

Replacing Cooper would be the hardest as he’s the captain, but technically, he’s still not the best technically.

He’s played plenty of errors in the past and the time to think about life after him has now arrived.

It’s also important to get clarity on Bielsa’s future as it makes little sense to give him a say if he doesn’t want to stay on beyond this summer.

In other Leeds United news, an ‘Exciting’ Whites player may seek Elland Road exit after Wednesday’s Phil Hay update