Nice to see him back in action.
The appearance of Luke Ayling back in competitive football for the first time this season was one of the many talking points that came out of Monday’s U23 victory over Watford, about whether or not he should be reintroduced into the fold when he is fully healed from the surgery that has kept him out of both pre-season and the start of the campaign.
It was a question that certainly got a lot of people talking in the aftermath of the match, however I’m not sure if I think Ayling should be made to wait his turn when he comes back.
I suppose the question is, if we want to do better than we did last year, do we need a complete overhaul of the team and how we play? Or do we simply take what we did last year and make a few adjustments to it? We’ve already made some by replacing Pontus Jansson with Ben White and essentially doing the same with Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford. If we make any more from last season, do we risk just making too many and disrupting what made the team so good in the first place?
I said very early in the summer, that I thought that the key to Leeds’ promotion challenge was predominantly going to come from what Marcelo Bielsa learned during his first season in charge in the Championship, and then making a few tweaks along the way now that he is used to the division.
That’s why I think we need to keep as much of last season’s team intact and playing the same way we did last year as possible. Use that as the base platform for this term and take it from there, and that means keeping Ayling as the first choice right-back, where he played 35 times for us in that position last season. That does mean moving Stuart Dallas out into his utility role, but he’s shown his usefulness in all kinds of positions for us, so let’s move him out of the position and get things back the way they were last season.
What about you? Do you think that Luke Ayling deserves to get his place back when he is fully recovered from his injury? Or do you think that he should be made to wait his turn?