Leeds United defender lifts lid on second position, plan in place for Whites new arrival - key headlines

Leeds United are amid their final preparations for an FA Cup third round clash with West Ham United this weekend - here are the key headlines on Friday from Elland Road.

By Joe Urquhart
Friday, 7th January 2022, 9:47 am

Luke Ayling happy to pitch in

Luke Ayling is more than happy to make up the numbers at centre-half for Marcelo Bielsa.

"I enjoy playing centre-back to be honest," he told LUTV.

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

"I grew up playing there for Arsenal as a kid, I spent my childhood playing there, then I got moved to right-back at Yeovil and have played there ever since. I love playing right-back and see myself playing there but I've played right-sided centre-half quite a lot in a three, which I really enjoy. If I get called upon to play centre-half whilst there's a lot of injuries, I don't mind doing it. I feel like I can do a job there, I enjoy it."

Plan in place for Whites latest addition

Leeds United have a plan in place to get Mateo Joseph Fernandez to where they want him, but it will take time.

"We liked the work from the recruitment department from Victor Orta and his staff, the work is obviously extensive," Jackson told The Yorkshire Evening Post of the youngster's arrival.

"We were part of that process in the summer looking at the player - he was one of a number that we looked at.

"In regards to his profile, he is a player who fits what we're looking at. He moves well, he has good agility and he's got a good physical frame. Overall he has potential to develop - that is the key thing.

"Physically, technically and tactically we feel as a club we are the right fit for him where he can develop and be a really good player for us. He obviously thinks that as well."

Charities thank Patrick Bamford

A hat-trick of charities have expressed their gratitude to Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford after benefitting to the tune of £28,797 from his raffle.

The England international gave away his limited-edition centenary shirt from the Whites' Championship-winning season along with Leeds United inspired registration plates.

Almost 2,500 participated in the raffle which raised vital funds for three charities with whom Bamford has previously been involved - Andy’s Man Club, Eco Schools and the Leeds United Foundation.

"I think with the platform that footballers have got, yes our main job is doing the business on the pitch, but there's so much more we can do off the pitch," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"I saw on social media Izzy Brown (former Leeds loanee) had helped a guy out with mental health just by letting him pick up the phone to speak to him. That just shows that everyone has a place and everyone can play a part no matter what it is.

"That kind of sets the tone for every footballer. The way that Marcus Rashford had such an influence on providing food for kids, I thought there's no reason why I can't speak out and raise awareness."

The winner, Lee Copping, was chosen at random on New Year’s Eve and earlier this week met Bamford at Elland Road to collect his prize, with the charities all represented.