Luke Ayling offers verdict on Leeds United season amid intriguing future update

Luke Ayling has provided an update on his Leeds United future after returning to Elland Road following his loan spell with Middlesbrough.

The 32-year-old joined the Whites in 2016 from Bristol City and has played a pivotal role during his time in Yorkshire. The defender helped his side earn promotion to the Premier League during the 2019/20 season, and will watch from the stands at Wembley as Leeds face Southampton for a place in the top flight.

Ayling was a key member of Daniel Farke's squad for the opening part of the campaign, making 14 appearances before completing his move to Teesside. But an overhaul of departures following their relegation, with the uncertainty surrounding players futures taking hold of their Championship season, failing to win their opening three league fixtures.

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But reinforcements did come through the doors at Elland Road, subsequently steadying the ship in West Yorkshire as they began to move up the table. With potentially 90 minutes separating Leeds from a return to the Premier League, Ayling highlighted how far the club have come since the opening weeks of the season.

"I think they've had a great season," Ayling told Talksport from Boxpark on Wembley Way. "When we came back in August it was no secret that there was loads of boys trying to leave and boys forcing their way out. We had to rebuild the squad.

"Those first few games weren't easy, we were getting on the coach not knowing what team was being played or what boys are getting on the coach. For them to turn it around and to get where they were, the last month has been disappointing and maybe if they'd have kicked on they wouldn't have gone through this, but to get promoted at Wembley there is no better way and hopefully they can get it done.

"It would be special and I don't think it's a secret that the play-off history at this club hasn't been great, so for this group of lads it would be great. Just to see all the fans in white, it's special. I can't wait to be one of these fans in there. Hopefully we'll see a good game and the boys will be promoted."

Ayling will be unable to influence the tie at the home of football this afternoon and will watch from the stands in hope his team-mates are able to do the business. The defender narrowly missed out on a place in the play-offs with Boro, making 19 appearances and contributing eight assists in that time.

The 32-year-old's contract at Elland Road is due to expire in a few weeks time, with rumours circulating that he will make his move to the Riverside Stadium permanent. When asked about his next move, Ayling played his cards close to his chest, but admitted that an announcement was forthcoming.

"I think there's news coming pretty soon in the next few days but I had a great time at Middlesbrough, I loved playing for the gaffer and the boys in the dressing room were great. There's news coming tomorrow and I think it will be good news," he added.