Leeds United 'agents' Luke Ayling and Sam Greenwood's can boost Whites' promotion drive

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Luke Ayling is set to join Leeds United's Sam Greenwood on loan at Middlesbrough

Luke Ayling may be about to leave Leeds United but he can still have a say on the club’s promotion hopes. The right-back is on the verge of joining Middlesbrough on loan with reports in the Athletic suggesting he was due to undergo a medical with the club today.

With his contract expiring at the end of the current campaign, the loan move brings about an end to Ayling’s seven-and-a-half year spell at Elland Road, where he has achieved legend status for his role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2020.

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The defender probably won’t allow himself to look back too often this season, though, as his focus shifts to what Middlesbrough can do this season. Ayling is cup tied and won’t be able to feature in the Boro’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Chelsea later this month, but promotion is still very much a possibility for Michael Carrick’s side.

The Teesside outfit are currently 12th in the Championship, but they’re four points behind the play-off pace and a run of good form could be enough to see them trouble the top six. Of course, beating those teams in and around the promotion race would help, too, and if Boro, with the help of Ayling and Sam Greenwood, who is also on loan at the Riverside Stadium, can knock off some of the top teams, it could breathe life into their promotion hopes.

It would do wonders for Leeds’, too, with the Whites currently sitting fourth, seven points behind the top two. Ayling and Greenwood can still do Leeds a huge favour this season, then, even while representing a side that can be considered a rival and their first opportunity to do so comes next month.

Boro take on sixth placed Sunderland on February 4, with the Black Cats eyeing revenge following their 4-0 loss in the derby at the Stadium of Light back in October. A trip to Leicester City follows on February 17 with Boro looking to follow in the footsteps of Leeds and pick up three points at the King Power Stadium.

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However, given Leeds are closer in terms of points to 17th place Blackburn than they are league leaders Leicester, such is their dominance over the division, a Boro win over the Foxes wouldn’t have too much of an impact at Elland Road. The big games that Leeds will be keeping an eye on come later in the season with Carrick’s side making the lengthy journey to Southampton on Good Friday.

The Saints are third at present and while they are on an undefeated run of 18 games, they remain just four points better off than Leeds. Ayling and Greenwood will be keen to be involved in the game and the same can be said for the trip to Ipswich Town on April 13.

Middlesbrough victories in the latter matches could well have a huge impact on the Whites' season as they look to take advantage of every slight hiccup from a rival and they could be left thanking Ayling and Greenwood for their efforts in the north east.

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