Marcelo Bielsa has explained why Luke Ayling has the qualities needed to succeed at international level amid claims the Leeds star could get the nod for England.
Gareth Southgate is weighing up handing Ayling and Patrick Bamford their first call-ups for England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers, according to reports.
The Guardian claims Southgate has been seriously impressed by the pair. And they could join Kalvin Phillips in the Three Lions’ squad.
With the squad named on Thursday, Bielsa has explained why Ayling has impressed so much.
“He’s one of the players that has shone the most in our team,” Bielsa told a press conference.
“He’s a player that can play out wide or in the centre. In a back four or back three. He has the capacity to attack and good aerial game.
“He has a good management of the ball and first pass. All of this analysis, anyone who watches him regularly can make. I’m only describing the resources that he has.
“When you talk about a player who can potentially be picked for the national team, you can interpret the reference as trying to enduce the manager. And in no way do I want to be in that situation. The thing is , the questions lead you to say things you don’t want to.”
Bamford fit to face Fulham
Leeds are next in action on Friday night when they travel to London to tackle improved Fulham.
Bamford had been a doubt for the game having been subbed after 35 minutes against Chelsea on Saturday.
However, Bielsa thinks the Leeds No 9 should be fit to face the Cottagers.
“We think that yes, he will play on Friday,” Bielsa explained. “He has a knock on his hip that is painful but we don’t think it will make him miss the game.”
It’s not all good news for Leeds though with Liam Cooper and Leif Davis missing out. Rodrigo has also emerged as a slight doubt.
“Cooper is sick, Davis has a small articulation problem which is not serious. “Rodrgio had a contracture yesterday in training which I don’t know if he’s going to be available on Friday. Either way it’s not an important injury.”