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Leeds’ Jesse Marsch must bin off Luke Ayling

Leeds United are walking a very thin line at the moment, with their performances of late detailing a side that could be in for another long season.

Having narrowly avoided relegation last season by just three points, this season they already find themselves two points adrift after 11 Premier League games.

Of Jesse Marsch’s side’s last nine games, only one has been a win, with their most recent defeat arguably one that will sting the most.

Losing at home is always disappointing, but to newly promoted opposition in Fulham is unforgivable for a side striving for safety in the division.

Jesse Marsch will be feeling the pressure more than most, and his decision to recall Luke Ayling to the starting line-up is one which will surely draw questioning.

Who should Jesse Marsch start at right back?

Rasmus Kristensen

Rasmus Kristensen

Luke Ayling

Luke Ayling

Whilst he may have had an impressive game by his standards, his unforgivable form at the end of last season is surely still fresh in the memory of Leeds supporters.

His rash red card-earning challenge against Arsenal drew fury from supporters, to which former Whites star Paddy Kenny dubbed him “disappointing”, highlighting the “shocking lack of discipline” around the squad.

This was somewhat tamer than Jamie Carragher, who branded him an “idiot”.

Not only was this moment reckless at a time when they needed their experienced heads to spread calmness, but his performances had been terrible regardless.

Across his 26 Premier League games last season, he averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.61.

To continue playing him now, with the likes of Rasmus Kristensen sitting on the bench, might just end up costing Marsch his job.

The 31-year-old cannot compare with the Danish international who has enjoyed a solid start to life at Elland Road.

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He boasts an average SofaScore rating of 6.96, making an average of 3.1 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per game.

To compare the two would be futile, as the 25-year-old has proved this campaign that he is the far better defender.

Whilst the game marked Ayling’s first start of the season, Marsch must ensure it is his last if he values his job at all. To spend £10m on a new full-back only to bench him for last year’s villain might be the final nail in the coffin, given his side’s current form.

Article title: Leeds’ Jesse Marsch must bin off Luke Ayling

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