Leeds signed Ayling up to a four-year deal in 2019, tying him down until the coming summer of 2023. However, it was recently revealed by Leeds that the right-back had a 12-month option on that deal triggered to keep him at the club into 2023/24.
It’s now been revealed by Ayling that he knew that trigger was coming, as it was a clause on the back of promotion in 2020.
”I always knew that I was going to be here for next year because I got that year when we got promoted. I always knew I was going to be here for next year, which was nice.”Ayling, via Football Daily.
Does Ayling have a long-term future at Leeds?
Ayling started the season out injured and behind Rasmus Kristensen in the pecking order at Elland Road.
However, towards the end of Jesse Marsch’s time as head coach he wrestled the starting right-back berth off the Denmark international, which has continued under Javi Gracia.
The 31-year-old is also carrying the captain’s armband in Liam Cooper’s absence and has eyes on a longer term agreement over his future.
”Now it’s about playing well enough to try and stay here for a few more years. I feel like I’ve got enough about me to be here for the next few years. I love it here. Love living around the area, I’ve had two kids born here, so I’m happy here.”Ayling, via Football Daily.
The big updated Luke Ayling quiz – Can Leeds United fans score 20/20?
Despite the competition for his place in the side, Ayling has proved himself as Leeds’ best right-back once more this season and it’s good news to see him tied down to next season at least.
Whether they are in the Premier League or Championship, Ayling is a useful player for Leeds to be able to lean on. He’s reliable, has a good relationship with the supporters and has been incredibly loyal since signing in 2016.
There’s an argument that Leeds need to move on from the likes of Ayling in coming transfer windows, which they might with Cody Drameh. However, this season’s struggle for Kristensen has proved it’s not that simple.
If it wasn’t for Ayling, Leeds would’ve had a big issue at right-back. He deserves the security new contracts offer.