'This club means everything' - Luke Ayling on the impact of Leeds United on and off the field

The Whites full-back has spoken of his affection for Leeds United.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 11:25 am

Leeds United 'means everything' to Luke Ayling and Elland Road is his home from home.

The 29-year-old has made an impressive 180 appearances for the Whites since making the switch from Bristol City for the nominal fee of just £200,000 in 2016.

Ayling - who is a former Arsenal academy product - played a key role in United's Championship promotion-winning team last term and etched his name into the LS11 history books as Leeds returned to the top flight for the first time in 16 years.

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He has become a central figure under Marcelo Bielsa since the Argentine's arrival at the club nearly three years ago, having been deployed as a marauding wing-back and centre-half when required.

Ayling has also worn the captain's armband in the absence of Liam Cooper on occasion and has taken to the Premier League with little issue.

Bill - as he is affectionately known at the club - says that his move to West Yorkshire six years ago has been life changing.

"The club gave me a chance when things weren't going well for me at a different club," Ayling said.

Leeds United full-back Luke Ayling. Pic: Getty

"They brought me in when not many people knew who I was. They've stuck by me and I've played pretty much every game [when available] since I've been here.

"The club means everything to me. I've had one of the best times in football here getting promoted with this team.

"It's something I'll look back on in years and think 'wow, I was so lucky to do that'.

"The people in the city have taken to me really well. My daughter was born here and we've set roots down. We'll live here for the rest of our lives I think. That's how much of an impact it has had on me."