Exactly a year ago today, on 11 August 2016, Luke Ayling arrived at Elland Road from fellow Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City, for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract.

He is now one of the first names on the team sheet for ‘The Whites’, and has impressed since his move, but just what has the defender brought to Leeds in the past 12 months?

Ayling started his career in the youth set up at Premier League giants Arsenal, arriving in 2002 aged just 11.

He progressed through the academy at the London club and managed to force himself into the senior squad in 2009, but like so many others never made an appearance for ‘The Gunners’, and moved away from the club to try to kick-start his career.

He went on loan to Yeovil Town in 2010, before signing for ‘The Glovers’ on a permanent basis, after impressing and made 166 appearances for the club, netting 2 goals, before then moving on to Bristol City.

The defender also impressed in his time at Bristol City. He made 80 appearances in his two-year stay, scoring four goals, and helped secure promotion to the Championship for ‘The Robins’, as they were crowned League One champions during the 2014/15 season, however during the end of his time there, the 25-year-old struggled to feature for the club, and moved on to Leeds.

Many were confused with the signing, as Ayling was somewhat out of favour at Ashton Gate, but the full back quickly proved his doubters wrong and established himself in the Leeds back line straight away.

He made 43 appearances in his debut season for the Yorkshire giants and has established himself as a fan favourite at the club already.

He is versatile, playing predominantly as a right back, but also able to play at centre back, which proves hugely vital in a long gruelling season.

With a new campaign well underway, with two games already played, Ayling will look to help Leeds improve on last season, and challenge for promotion back to the Premier League.

 


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