Leeds Utd star hails Gunners legend who helped his development at Arsenal

Luke Ayling is doing fine as one of Marcelo Bielsa’s trusted players in the Premier League this season.

However, the Englishman didn’t start his career with Leeds United and he hasn’t forgotten where it all began.

Ayling was part of a decent generation of players coming through the ranks at Arsenal alongside the likes of Jack Wilshere.

In 2010, he realised it would be tough for him to break into the Arsenal first team and he took a chance on himself by leaving the club to move to Yeovil Town.

He spent four years there before joining Bristol City in 2014, and Leeds came calling in 2016.

He has been an important part of the Leeds side since then and he helped them gain promotion back to the Premier League this summer.

He has revealed that Steve Bould played a key part in his development as a defender having been coached by the Arsenal legend at the club’s academy.

“I started there when I was eight,” Ayling told Soccer AM via Leeds Live.

“The things I learnt there were brilliant, then going to my scholarship and having Steve Bould as my coach, playing centre-half, to have Steve Bould coaching you every day, it really kicked me on.

“Things weren’t going to happen for me at Arsenal, I knew that I was way off where I needed to be, so I went to Yeovil and spent four years there and it was the best thing I ever did.

“I went down there to sleepy Somerset, there was nothing happening, there wasn’t anything to do or anything – it was quite a young group of lads there and we just had a laugh in Yeovil and played football, and here I am now.”

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