Luke Ayling’s days as number one right-back at Leeds United are bound to be numbered based on reported contact with Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez.
Earlier this week, Win Sports TV journalist Pipe Sierra reported via his personal Twitter account that Leeds have been in touch with the 29-year-old after he rejected a new contract at Real Madrid.
Vazquez’s existing terms expire in the summer while Napoli and two other clubs have also reportedly made contact.
⚽️❌ El extremo español Lucas Vásquez (29) ha rechazado la oferta de renovación del #RealMadrid.
— Pipe Sierra (@PipeSierraR) March 1, 2021
Vazquez’s potential availability comes as a shock as the nine-times Spain international has been a regular for Zinedine Zidane this season.
The ex-Espanyol loanee has made 27 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid, scoring two goals and supplying six assists in the process.
He’s been played as a right-back, wing-back and a winger by Zidane but it’s his performances at full-back that have caught our eye and led us to question Ayling’s future as a Leeds mainstay.
According to stats by Wyscout, Vazquez has averaged 1.92 shot assists per 90 minutes of football this season while playing as a right-back or a wing-back. He’s also completed 38.8 per cent of crosses, 64.6 per cent of his dribbles and averaged 2.92 touches inside the penalty area per 90 minutes in all competitions for Real Madrid.
Defensively, Vazquez has won 55.7 per cent of defensive duels and averaged 3.95 interceptions, 7.46 recoveries and 1.33 clearances per 90 minutes in Spanish and European football.
When 29-year-old Ayling has played at right-back for Leeds this season, the ex-Arsenal defender has averaged 0.93 shot assists, completed 43.1 per cent of crosses and 58.1 per cent of dribbles. He’s also averaged 1.86 touches inside the box per 90 minutes in all competitions for the Whites.
In terms of his defensive numbers, Ayling has won 58.9 per cent of defensive duels and averaged 5.02 interceptions, 9.79 recoveries and 1.49 clearances per full match.
Ayling’s defensive numbers are better but Leeds do have more defending to do considering they’re a newly promoted team in the Premier League and Real Madrid are third in La Liga and challenging for the title.
But Vazquez’s attacking numbers are impressive, especially the rate he sets up shots and gets himself involved in the penalty area.
Marcelo Bielsa loves to see his team get forward and attack and we believe that Vazquez might be able to do that better than Ayling is.
And if Leeds are looking into signing Vazquez, they would only really be trying to sign a Spain international from Real Madrid if they wanted him to be in their starting line-up.
Leeds could try and move on from some of the Championship ‘old guard’ in the summer as they continue to re-invent themselves as an established Premier League club.
And Ayling might, unfortunately, be one of the casualties in that as the Yorkshire giants eye up Vazquez.
In other Leeds United news, this attacker is reportedly made for Leeds after they bid for him last year.