Elland Road latest news: £24.3m duo 'so integral' to Leeds' identity under Marcelo Bielsa

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa deep in thought

Journalist Dean Jones thinks getting Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford back to full fitness will be a major boost for Leeds United.

The duo are currently sidelined due to injuries, and Jones believes they have been missed by Marcelo Bielsa's side.

What's the latest news on Ayling and Bamford?

Ayling has not played for Leeds since he picked up a knee injury in the latter stages of the team's 1-1 draw with Newcastle back in September.

However, he could be back in contention to play this weekend when Bielsa's men travel to play Tottenham.

There is less promising news for Bamford, though. He has been absent from Leeds' last six top-flight matches with an ankle issue, and the club's former defender Danny Mills recently claimed that the forward could be out of action until next month.

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What has Jones said about Ayling and Bamford?

Jones feels it's vital for Leeds that Ayling and Bamford, who are valued at £4.5m and £19.8m respectively by Transfermarkt, make their returns as soon as possible, given how important they are to the team.

When speaking about what the pair bring to Leeds, Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s the identity of the squad, isn’t it? And those two are just so integral to everything they’ve been part of.”

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Have Ayling and Bamford been missed this season?

Last season, Ayling and Bamford featured in all 38 of Leeds' Premier League fixtures, and proved that they belonged at the highest level.

Ayling demonstrated his versatility by playing as a full-back and a centre-back, while Bamford found the back of the net on 17 occasions.

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This term, neither player was able to hit their stride before they picked up their respective setbacks, and it is no coincidence that Leeds have had a more difficult campaign as a result.

The side have only lost one of their last five league matches, suggesting that they are starting to move back towards the form that saw them finish inside the top half in 2020/21.

However, they look a little more vulnerable at the back, and seem to be less of a threat in the attacking third this season, and that can largely be put down to the fact that they are missing Ayling and Bamford at either end of the pitch. 

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