Aug 12, 2016
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Luke Ayling joins Leeds United from Bristol City – Twitter Reacts

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Former Arsenal academy product Luke Ayling has put pen to paper on a three year contract at Elland Road, signing from Championship rivals Bristol City. In Ayling, Leeds United have acquired a 24-year-old right-back who is also capable of playing central defender or even as a deep lying midfielder if necessary.

The defender joined Bristol City in the summer of 2014 from Yeovil Town for an undisclosed compensation fee, as his deal at Huish Park had expired. Before pulling on the white and green hoops of the Glovers, Ayling came up through the Arsenal academy youth system, winning an FA Youth Cup in the same team as Jack Wilshere.

 

He was the only outfield ever-present player in Bristol City’s double-winning 2014/15 campaign, operating as a right-sided centre-half in a 3-5-2 formation – playing 95 times and scoring four goals for the Robins across two seasons.

Despite a relatively well publicised off-field misdemeanour, Ayling was popular amongst the Ashton Gate faithful and will likely be missed. He has experience of playing at this level with both Yeovil and Bristol City, and will add to Garry Monk’s new-look defense, in the Englishman’s first full season in charge in Yorkshire.

Comfortable on the ball (as you’d expect from an Arsenal FA Youth Cup winner), Ayling has silky skills for a defender, and his slaloming runs can turn defence into attack rapidly. Position-wise he has a tendency to get caught out, especially when playing right back, but at just 24 he has time to mature into a very dependable and classy Championship defender.

With nearly 300 first team appearances across League One and the Championship, it is fair to say Ayling will add some experience to Leeds United, but also will hope to continue progressing and learning as a footballer.

Here is how Twitter reacted to his move north:

Featured image: All rights reserved by Nizaam Jones

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Cardiff University graduate of History. Own keyboard/pen and willingly to write/type.

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