Leeds United are seemingly looking to learn from their mistakes after being forced to cash in on last season’s top goalscorer in Kemar Roofe, by reportedly nearing a new deal for another two players – but could one of those contracts backfire?
The Whites have agreed new deals for Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas, after Roofe entered the final 12 months of his deal. It saw Leeds cash in on Roofe, who joined Anderlecht for a fee £7million.
Now, Leeds Live claim owner Andrea Radrizzani is willing to sanction new deals for midfielder Mateusz Klich and right-back Luke Ayling, even though the latter is yet to feature once this season due to injury.
Ayling, who joined the club for £750,000 (Mail) from Bristol City in the summer of 2016, has been Leeds’ undisputed right-back since he joined. Now, Stuart Dallas may have done enough to keep Ayling out of the side.
The former Arsenal trainee is 28 and has a contract at Leeds until the summer of 2021. So, do Leeds need to offer the defender a new contract given his age, increasing proneness to injury and potentially losing his place in the side to Dallas?
By the time Ayling’s current deal expires, he will be 30. The Whites are obviously planning to gain promotion to the Premier League and despite the late goal that saw Derby equalise, Leeds still sit top of the Championship.
Cooper is good enough for the Premier League, as is Phillips and indeed Klich – who is in the final 12 months of his current deal. But question marks surround whether Ayling is of top-tier standard.
Leeds have been guilty of handing out big, long-term contracts in the past which has seen the likes of Vurnon Anita, Eunan O’Kane, Pawel Cibicki and more rot in the wilderness earning big money.
Ayling does not seem that kind of character, but Leeds must think in terms of business – not one of sentiment. Right now, Ayling should not be handed a new deal, and should be left to see out his current contract.