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Luke Ayling could provide cover at centre-back in Liam Cooper’s absence

Leeds United

Luke Ayling could provide cover at centre-back in Liam Cooper’s absence

Leeds United are short at centre-back following an injury to their captain.

This week saw Leeds United hand a new contract to right-back Luke Ayling. As reported by the BBC, the former Bristol City defender has signed a new four-year deal at Elland Road which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2023. 

The 28-year-old has something of a task getting back into the Leeds starting XI now he has signed a new deal. 

Stuart Dallas has been thriving in his now permanent right-back role whilst Ayling has been suffering from injury. 

He came on against West Brom recently but for the time being it appears he will need to play second fiddle behind Dallas. 

But he could now prove useful in another position. 

 (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Leeds United are set to be without their captain Liam Cooper for a considerable amount of time. The Scotland international has suffered a groin strain and will therefore miss the next six weeks of action. 

 

It leaves Leeds United short at centre-back, with Gaetano Berardi expected to partner Ben White going forward. 

But Ayling can also provide cover in the role. He played there a handful of times last season and was a regular in the position during his time at Bristol City. He played the entire 2014-15 season in League One as a central defender. 

Indeed, it may be one of the reasons why Leeds have handed him such a long contract. If his advancing years start to impact his swashbuckling full-back play, Leeds can easily adapt him into the less physically demanding centre-back position. 

Going forward, it appears Leeds will be going with Ben White and Berardi in Cooper’s absence but Ayling is clearly an option. Before he makes his first start back as a right-back, Leeds fans might just see him in the heart of defence. 

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