Luke Ayling's Sheffield Wednesday struggles suggests Leeds United could've used Lewie Coyle

APOEL's Spanish head coach Thomas Christiansen gestures prior to the Europa League group B football match beetween Young Boys and APOEL at the Stade de Suisse in Bern on October 20, 2016.

Leeds United were hammered 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday to make it three defeats in four Championship games.

Lewie Coyle of Fleetwood Town in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and Fleetwood Town at Sixfields on August 12, 2017 in Northampton, England.

Lewie Coyle is ten games into his League One career on loan at Fleetwood Town and it is only now that he has put in a below-par display. The Leeds United loanee was outfoxed by Tariq Fosu-Henry as the striker scored the first of a hat-trick during Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Charlton Athletic before being replaced at the interval.

However, one disappointing performance should not overshadow the fact that Coyle has been in superb form since arriving on the North West coast this summer. The 21-year-old won the fans’ Man of the Match award in four of his first eight league games for Fleetwood, breaking a club-record.

Lewie Coyle of Leeds United FC during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Leeds United and Rotherham United at Elland Road on January 9, 2016 in Leeds, England.

And Coyle has done his hopes of challenging for a first-team berth at Leeds in the near future no harm at all. However, with the usually consistent Luke Ayling suffering something of a dip in form in recent weeks, Leeds may be learning that Coyle could have come in useful far earlier than they may have expected.

Ayling, arguably Leeds’ most reliable performer since he arrived from Bristol City in the summer of 2016, has been well below his best in a worrying run of three defeats in four games for Thomas Christiansen’s side.

Luke Ayling of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on January 13, 2017 in Leeds, England.

He struggled in particular as Leeds were humbled 3-0 at Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday afternoon. Therefore, you wonder if a player who has started 53 Championship games since August of last year could benefit from a break – and keeping hold of Coyle would have allowed Thomas Christiansen a little more licence to switch up his starting XI.

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