Many Leeds United fans have been reacting on social media after LUFC Data shared a breakdown of Luke Ayling’s stats from our 4-0 win over Middlesbrough, as some supporters hailed the defender as being back to his best on Saturday.
Ayling missed the first nine games of the Championship season through injury, having suffered a knock to his ankle during pre-season and later being forced to undergo surgery to aid his rehabilitation.
The London-born 28-year-old made his term debut in our 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the start of October, and made his first start of the season four days later when we lost 2-1 away to Millwall.
Ayling has not missed a minute of league action since featuring from the bench with 15 minutes to play against the Baggies, as he settles into duties in defence as boss Marcelo Bielsa splits tasks between right-back and centre-half.
Saturday’s appearance against Boro came at centre-half in a three-man backline, from where Ayling recorded a joint-game-high five successful tackles, having attempted six, plus five interceptions and one clearance, per WhoScored data.
Our £8,000-per-week defender, who has stood in at captain five times this season, also completed 60 passes against Middlesbrough at the weekend, along with completing each of his three dribbles and fashioned two shots on goal.
Was the Boro game Ayling's best performance of the season?
Here are some of the messages shared as fans hailed Ayling for being back to his best on Saturday, and reacted to his performance in numbers against Middlesbrough…
He was my MOTM. Set the tempo more than any LUFC player. Back to his best. Plenty of top performances today.
— jimmy.jazz (@joe_rockabilly) November 30, 2019
His first half performance was the best I’ve ever seen him play for Leeds, he was terrific
— Sean G (@SeanyGee) December 1, 2019
— BROLIN ATE THE PIE (@REDPLANET2025) November 30, 2019
That’s the real @lukeayling_8, he’s back guys, what a game yesterday MOT
— james keating (@jameskeating1) December 1, 2019
He was immense today!!
— Simon Dawson (@parfini1) November 30, 2019
Top performance today
— Andy Baggott (@TheBagpuss) December 1, 2019
— Marc F 💙💛 (@billywigwam13) November 30, 2019
Can’t believe he didn’t score 😂 so close twice
— 💙Russ💛 (@russcausier) November 30, 2019
In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports pundit has questioned if Bielsa has learnt from his previous errors.