Noel Whelan has claimed Luke Ayling may take months to win back his place in the Leeds United starting XI.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United forward claimed there is “no way” Marcelo Bielsa will drop Stuart Dallas after his successful conversion into a right-back.
Whelan suggested the best change Ayling may have of getting into the team is at centre-back as back-up to one of the regulars.
Ayling made his first appearance of the senior as a second-half substitute in Leeds’ 1-0 Championship win over West Brom last night after completing his recovery from a serious ankle injury.
“Ayling has been one of the more consistent players over the last few years and you can’t question his attitude or commitment,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“Will he get back in the side? I don’t think he will play in place of Stuart Dallas. Absolutely not. The way Dallas is playing it’s very difficult for Marcelo Bielsa to leave him out.
“Ayling will have to bide his time. He may not play for months. We know Bielsa doesn’t make changes unless there are injuries or suspensions.
“Maybe Ayling’s best chance is of stepping in at centre-back if there is an injury to Liam Cooper or Ben White.”
Ayling has been the regular right-back at Leeds since joining in 2016 from Bristol City and signed a new four-year contract yesterday.
In his absence, Dallas has started Leeds’ first 10 Championship matches of the season and has helped keep five clean sheets as well as contributed a goal.
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