Leeds have Ayling successor in Cody Drameh

After sealing a loan exit from Leeds United in the January transfer window, it’s fair to say that Cody Drameh didn’t leave himself in former manager Marcelo Bielsa’s good books.

Following the move, the Argentine said: “I did not think he needed to play games elsewhere. He was a player who was very necessary with all of the absences we have. Clearly, I calculated things wrongly because what I consider as a great opportunity, those who are benefiting from that position, they prefer to abandon the club looking for another type of competition.

“Evidently, what I imagined as a great chance, they don’t. Perhaps I overvalue that you’re in a 20-man squad in the best league in the world. Of course with a player leaving it’s one alternative less. But when a player wants to leave, there’s no point trying to keep them.”

Since then, however, Drameh has been fully vindicated in his own personal decision to seek first-team football elsewhere, becoming a regular in Cardiff’s starting line-up. He has featured in 16 successive games, completing the full 90 minutes in all but the first one, when he was taken off with just over ten minutes to go.

After seeing his side pull off an impressive 4-0 victory over Peterborough United, manager Sean Morrison waxed lyrical about the Leeds loanee.

The Bluebirds boss said: “Barnsley was a horrible game. He’d never experienced anything like that and he came in with a couple of last-ditch tackles right at the death of the game, which was phenomenal. Tonight? Pff. It’s a good thing they can’t call him back after that because he was outstanding.”

It’s perhaps no surprise that Drameh has even been nominated for Cardiff’s Player of the Year award despite his mid-season arrival. Given his superb form for the Bluebirds, the youngster should surely now fancy his chances of becoming a more valued squad member at Elland Road when he returns from his loan spell this summer.

Indeed, The Athletic’s Phil Hay has even suggested that the 20-year-old could well be the long-term heir to Luke Ayling.

He said: “The point about Drameh was that he could be a natural successor to Ayling, who still has time left but is clearly not in his first flush of youth. Drameh is well thought of and I do feel like he’s got a serious chance here if he’s patient.”

Meanwhile, LUTV commentator Tom Hill described the 20-year-old as a “box of tricks” after an impressive performance against Sunderland at under-23 level, and that bodes well for his future as a more adventurous full-back.

With 217 games under his belt for the club, Ayling has been a long and loyal servant for Leeds over the years, but it might well be time for Drameh’s introduction into the first-team fold on a more regular basis next season under Marsch.

AND in other news – Signed for £5m, now worth 700% more: Orta struck dream Leeds deal with “quality” 22y/o

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