Luke Ayling has told BBC Radio Leeds that Stuart Dallas is in the form of his life for Leeds United, and is glad that the Northern Ireland international is playing on the left side of defence – instead of right-back.
The duo helped Leeds record a third consecutive win on Wednesday as they beat Middlesbrough 1-0 away from home, thanks to Mateusz Klich’s first-half strike. Dallas and Ayling both impressed on either side of the defence.
Dallas, 28, has now started the last four matches on the left side of defence – but has been seen in Ayling’s position at right-back, in central midfield and on both wings at times this season. He is certainly versatile.
The £1.3million (Sky Sports) signing from Brentford took a step closer to 200 Leeds appearances on Wednesday night, with 182 to his name, and Ayling was full of praise for the utility man – claiming he is in the form of his life.
“Stu, he is brilliant you know,” Ayling said. “He’s played in four or five positions this season and he has probably been our best player when he has played in those positions. I’m glad he’s found a home at left-back, and not at right-back.
“He’s brilliant. He runs all day, he gets up, he gets back, he’s in the form of his life. Absolutely different class.”
TBR’s view – Would Dallas remain first choice if promoted?
With 11 league games to play, Leeds remain five points clear of third-placed Fulham in the second automatic slot. This time last season, they were two points better off, but Sheffield United were only two behind them.
Premier League promotion is a real possibility and with the momentum back in full swing after three successive victories, it is Leeds’ to lose. But would Dallas remain a key player, as he is now, if the Whites gain promotion?
Turning 29 in April, Dallas is at the peak of his powers but it will not be long before he begins to deteriorate. Right now, he is good enough, but beyond his contract which expires in 2023, it might be a different story.