By Noel Whelan

3rd Oct, 2021 | 9:00pm

Leeds dealt 'massive' dressing room blow after Ayling injury update - Whelan

Noel Whelan has admitted Luke Ayling’s absence will be a “sorry blow” to the Leeds United dressing room.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker insisted the 30-year-old’s presence on and off the pitch cannot be underestimated.

As confirmed by Marcelo Bielsa on Friday (30th September), Ayling is set to undergo simple surgery on a knee injury.

The Argentine manager confirmed it would take “some time” before the right-back is back in contention.

Ayling has missed Leeds’ last three games after picking up the injury against Newcastle United.

The Whites managed to pick up their first league win of the season against Watford on Saturday in his absence.

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However, Whelan insisted Ayling would still be sorely missed in the Elland Road dressing room.

Asked if he thought Leeds would miss Ayling’s presence on and off the pitch, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge, “Absolutely.

“He’s a character in the changing room he’s a leader in there as well.

“Ayling brings some fun to the changing room, you can see what kind of personality he is.

“It’s the personality that he brings on the field that’s more important. That energy, bursting up and down the right-hand side.

“Defensively as well, covering round, he’s a massive part of the Leeds United defence.

“It’s going to be a sorry blow to miss him. The international break, that’s two weeks that will allow him to recover after the operation.”

Ayling is just two games away from making 200 appearances for Leeds.

Jamie Shackleton has deputized in place of the former Yeovil man at right-back.

In other news, a pundit is worried by what he saw in the Leeds United dugout and points the finger at Orta.