Luke Ayling signing for Leeds could be an excellent deal - and for Kyle Bartley in particular

Luke Ayling of Bristol City (R) in action with Nathan Byrne of Wolverhampton Wanderers

Leeds United are linked to Luke Ayling of Bristol City.

Luke Ayling of Bristol City (R) in action with Nathan Byrne of Wolverhampton WanderersLuke Ayling of Bristol City (R) in action with Nathan Byrne of Wolverhampton Wanderers

Leeds United are on the verge of completing a deal for Bristol City defender Luke Ayling, the club announced via their official website.

Ayling is primarily a right-back and will provide competition for Gaetano Berardi and Lewie Coyle, but can also play at centre-back.

Ayling began his career as a centre-back in Arsenal's youth system - and his partner in defence? None other than current Leeds United loanee Kyle Bartley.

Arsenal youngsters Kyle Bartley and Luke Ayling against Manchester CityArsenal youngsters Kyle Bartley and Luke Ayling against Manchester City

The pair played a starring part in the FA Youth Cup winning team in 2009 which also featured England internationals Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.

Ayling was regarded as an excellent prospect with pundit Steve Claridge compiling a scouting report for The Guardian on the defender's performances in which he lauded him as, "more than capable in the air and so good with both feet that it was difficult to tell which one he preferred."

Luke Ayling of Bristol City (L) in action with Albert Adomah of MiddlesbroughLuke Ayling of Bristol City (L) in action with Albert Adomah of Middlesbrough

Leeds have been unconvincing at the back so far this season with Liam Cooper struggling against Fleetwood and Sol Bamba poor against QPR.

If Ayling could come in and renew his partnership with Bartley at the back then it could help get the best out of the Swans defender, but even if they do not feature together at centre-back, having his pal there at right-back could be just as key, with their on pitch trust long established.

Ayling is 24 and his best years should be ahead of him, and should relish the stage of playing in front of fans at Elland Road.

He may not be the big name signing Leeds fans have craved but he could prove to be a shrewd addition, and if he plays at right-back then Gaetano Berardi could switch to left-back in the case of Charlie Taylor being sold before the transfer deadline.

Leeds United's Mustapha Carayol in action with Bristol City's Luke AylingLeeds United's Mustapha Carayol in action with Bristol City's Luke Ayling

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