Noel Whelan has been “flabbergasted” by Luke Ayling’s transformation during Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United reign.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker explained how the defender, 29, was a willing but inconsistent right-back before Bielsa took over in 2018.
The former Bristol City man is now looking a force at Premier League level and delivered his latest outstanding performance in Friday night’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa despite moving across to centre-back due to injury.
Bielsa was unable to call upon skipper Liam Cooper and £18million new signing Diego Llorente, and selected a makeshift central defensive partnership of Ayling and Robin Koch.
Either side of them were converted wingers Stuart Dallas, who moved across to Ayling’s normal right-back position, and Ezgjan Alioski at left-back.
“It’s remarkable how much Luke Ayling has improved under Bielsa,” Whelan told Football Insider. “It just shows the huge impact a coach like him can have.