Luke Ayling has been in terrific form since coming into the Premier League and recent performances at centre-back are proving it even more.
With Marcelo Bielsa contending with a huge number of defensive injuries already this season, the task has been up to a handful of deputies to cover gaps across the back four.
Liam Cooper, Robin Koch, and Diego Llorente are all out at the moment, meaning that Leeda have lined up for three games in a row with Luke Ayling and Pascal Stuijk at the back.
Two of those games yielded impressive clean sheets against Burnley and West Brom, despite contrasting performances from the Whites.
Up next was the trip to North London and Tottenham Hotspur.
The daunting prospect of trying to stop Spurs’ red-hot duo, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, was always going to be a struggle, and the two scored to help the hosts to a 3-0 win.
However, Leeds still managed to impose themselves on the game as one would expect and were unfortunate to go behind in the Capital.
Ayling’s continued defensive form at the back was highlighted after the game once again, with LUFCDATA sharing this statistic on Twitter:
Ayling was seemingly tasked with marking Son on the day but routinely stepped out to sweep up any time a loose ball was to be contested.
Kane rarely managed to get a sniff from open play and this was largely down to how Ayling was able to read the game so well and stop any break from the second-ball.
It was another great performance out of position and the Leeds fans were keen to heap praise on him…
Ayling has arguably been our player of the season so far alongside Patrick Bamford.
It’s incredible to think that these two are taking to the Premier League so well after doubt that some players wouldn’t be able to make the step up.
You could debate that Ayling didn’t have a great game based on his ball retention at the back, but defensively, he was great from an individual perspective.
There may have been a suggestion that Leeds would need to invest in both full-back positions to go to the next level, but I don’t see why Ayling can’t be that player we need going forward, he’s been outstanding.