David Prutton comments on Leeds' links with Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala

A general view of the Billy Bremner statue outside Elland Road during the Pre Season Friendly match between Leeds United and Everton at Elland Road on August 1, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United are reportedly hoping to raid Championship rivals Boro for giant centre-back Daniel Ayala.

Daniel Ayala of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough at John Smith's Stadium on October 23, 2019 in Huddersfield, England.

David Prutton has backed Leeds United’s pursuit of Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala, telling Football League World that the giant Spaniard could add some much-needed competition at the heart of Marcelo Bielsa’s backline.

The Whites have one of the strongest starting XIs in the Championship but, beyond that, they are worryingly short in a number of key departments. Gaetano Berardi is the closest Leeds have to a third-choice centre-half and he is a full-back by trade.

And with captain Liam Cooper suffering another injury during Saturday’s 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers, a problem which has caused him to drop out of the Scotland squad for the final Euro 2020 qualifiers, the West Yorkshire giants are crying out for some much-needed reinforcements.

 

That’s where Ayala comes in.

The Northern Echo reports that Leeds are planning to make a ‘formal approach’ for the 29-year-old and Middlesbrough, who may be forced to cash in before Ayala’s contract expires in July, are fully aware of interest from Elland Road.

This is a signing that one-time Leeds midfielder Prutton would welcome with open arms.

Daniel Ayala of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough on Saturday 19th October 2019.

“Liam Cooper has had his injury concerns, but I think Coops has been a great servant to Leeds. This isn’t me trying to get anyone out of the side, but I think competition from a player such as that (Ayala) would be extremely healthy,” Prutton said of a defender Victor Orta knows well from his time at the Riverside.

“Given how he understands the top end of the division and how to get out of it, I think that would be something that the management (at Leeds) would look at.

“It doesn’t strike me as something that would be beyond the realms of possibility.”

Standing at 6ft 2ins and with a leap like a salmon, Ayala could be that Pontus Jansson-type figure at the heart of Leeds’ backline. And considering that they conceded yet again from a set piece in the clash with Blackburn, some added height would not go amiss.

Daniel Ayala of Middlesbrough is challenged by Juninho Bacuna of Huddersfield Town and Frazier Campbell of Huddersfield Town during the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch