The Athletic’s Phil Hay has confirmed that Leeds United defender Luke Ayling will once again be missing from action as the Whites take on Spurs in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
The 30-year-old has missed the past six games in the Premier League through a knee injury that he picked up late on in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle back in mid-September, and it seems that he will not be in contention for tomorrow’s game in north London.
Relaying news via Marcelo Bielsa’s pre-match press conference, Hay confirmed that Ayling, along with teammate Patrick Bamford, will be missing from the squad to face Spurs.
Although the journalist added that Bielsa had mentioned they were developing and progressing quite positively, no timeframe has yet been set on their potential returns.
Usually one of the first names on the teamsheet, there’s no questioning that Ayling has been one of Bielsa’s most trusted lieutenants over the past couple of seasons.
The £45k-a-week ace played the full 90 minutes in every single Premier League game last season bar one, and even that was when Bielsa took him off to try and find a goal in the last 20 minutes against ten-man Arsenal.
In the past, Hay has emphasised how important Ayling is to this team, declaring: “The more you look at him and analyse him, the more you realise he’s integral to everything Leeds do.”
Speaking just last year, former Scotland manager Alex McLeish raved about the consistency that Ayling brings to the table week-in, week-out.
He said: “We talk about Luke nearly every week, we always give him a mention. He’s such an enthusiast for the game. It’s a guy who clearly loves his football and his roles within Leeds United, not only as a full-back, he’s got the centre-back skills as well – he’s got versatility.
“He’s a really, really good example to any young player coming up because he’s been through the ranks. You see where he started and now he’s playing in the Premier League.”
Being without him once again for the trip to Spurs is sure to leave both Bielsa and Leeds fans gutted.