Leeds United have somewhat stagnated in their returning Premier League season after winning just one of their last five matches. Whilst they currently sit in a respectable 14th place in the table, things could rapidly turn bad for the Whites unless they start getting some more points on the board.
If they continue to struggle, they run a very high risk of losing some of their key players.
The likes of Luke Ayling has seriously impressed so far this term, performing well not only in his usual position at right-back, but adapting to a more central role in Marcelo Bielsa’s hour of need.
His versatility and strength are key components that other clubs will be looking for in a defender.
Once the January transfer window opens up, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if a few offers are made for the Englishman.
Ayling has been one of Leeds’ key players throughout the last two seasons, shining during their Championship-winning campaign and indeed impressing this term as well.
The 29-year-old has attracted a lot of praise, with Alex McLeish recently paying him a huge compliment by stating he is “an example to youngsters everywhere”. He also lauded Ayling as an “impeccable” player who has adapted well to England’s top-flight, via Football Insider.
As he nears his 30th birthday, Ayling will be sizing up just how high his career can go. If a top club shows interest in his services and Leeds struggle to re-establish themselves in the Premier League, he could be tempted to take a move and try for more silverware.
The defender’s £45,000 per week contract runs until 2023 but if a Premier League club comes knocking, Leeds could squeeze a pretty penny out of them for the sale of Ayling. But they cannot afford to let him want a move away or they will lose an extremely valuable member of the club.
However, unless Bielsa changes up his tactics from his usual lineups and repetitive 4-1-4-1 formation, the Whites will be easily found out and losses will become more and more of a regular occurrence.
Indeed, this could spell a potential exit for Leeds’ star defender should he become indemand.