Luke Ayling has gone from fans favourite to verging on scapegoat territory within a matter of weeks. Though you cannot blame Leeds United fans for calling for the right-back to be removed from Thomas Christiansen’s starting XI after another error-strewn display in Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat to Derby County.
Leeds have now lost three Championship games in a row at Elland Road, against Reading, Sheffield United and Derby. And the previously impervious Ayling has been at fault for goals in each game.
He was caught out of position once again as Craig Forsyth set up Derby’s equaliser, providing the platform for a dramatic comeback victory. Ayling might have started each of Leeds 15 league games this season but the former Bristol City star is currently a shadow of the player who looked like one of Leeds’ best signings in years until recently.
The club’s decision to loan highly-rated homegrown prospect Lewie Coyle to Fleetwood Town in the summer, then, is starting to come under scrutiny. While Ayling struggles, Coyle’s reputation is increasingly by the week.
He won four straight Man of the Match awards for Fleetwood earlier in the season, breaking a club record in the process. And Leeds fans would jump at the prospect of bringing Coyle back from his loan in January with Ayling clearly in need of some time out of the side.
Lewie Coyle come back please— Bryn Johnson (@BrynLufc) October 31, 2017
Teams have sussed us out, Attack Aylings side all game and you WILL score. Bring back Coyle #lufc— James Obiedzinski (@jamesobi1) October 31, 2017
Lewie Coyle will be in this team next season I think #lufc— Ryan Pinnick (@RPlufc93) October 27, 2017
Coyle having a fantastic season at Fleetwood— Leeds Realist (@LeedsRealist) October 28, 2017
Would recall him in a heartbeat, would give more strength in depth and also free up Ayling #LUFC
Have to agree! Never thought we'd be saying it but not been good enough! Lewie Coyle had 5+ MOM awards for Fleetwood....— Tom O'Hare (@tohare3) October 31, 2017
there might be a break clause in January.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) November 1, 2017
Agree here. Ayling’s been horrid— Stephen Foster (@stephenfoster81) November 1, 2017