Jesse Marsh set to suffer from October headaches as Leeds United player reacts to summer transfer

A headache, in the form of Luke Ayling, is making his way towards the American and could strike in time for the October 2 match against Aston Villa.

There was no danger of Ayling taking Rasmus Kristensen’s signature lying down.

This is a man, after all, whose refusal to accept defeat was instrumental in games the Whites will never forget, such as the 5-4 win over Birmingham, and the 1-0 win over Swansea that decided the promotion and final. Season 3-2 win over Wolverhampton.

Headache: Coming to Leeds United boss Jesse Marche. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

Having worked his way back to the top of the football mountain from League One, Ayling was no stranger to overcoming adversity and would view the £10m Denmark international status en route as just another hurdle to climb.

Christensen is fairly mountainous, physically, and I hit Elland Road with a good reputation, but it’s perfectly fair to say he’s heading for international duty after a difficult start to the Premier League season.

Of all the summer signings, it was Christensen who seemed to be the safest bet for a smooth landing in the English first class, but even global operators found a bumpy ride on these shores.

Despite struggling to match the levels of Brendan Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Mark Roca on his debut, Christensen was still booked on a trip to join Denmark’s squad for this month’s Nations League matches against Croatia and France.

But before he took off, the right-back had a first-class seat reserved at the West Stand to watch Aaling’s exit from the Under-21 squad against Southampton.

He and the other 10,000 or so were treated to what was familiar to all, Ayling pounding the right flank to support early attacks that indicated just how comfortable this game was for Leeds.

The presence of the four senior whites, along with the youngsters, an integral part of the first-team lineup, made an uncomfortable night for the Young Saints.

Liam Cooper gave in a bit in the four-way defense along with Ayling, Leo Hilde and Junior Firpo, while Patrick Bamford himself helped pull off a hat-trick.

For Ayling, it wasn’t a huge test of ability, but it was important for him to test his body over the 80 minutes after such a long layoff.

His 20-minute cameo against Brentford was his first since last season, with knee surgery ruling him out of the entire pre-season game program and the first six games of the season.

In his absence, Christensen has maintained a right-back position when he is fit, and although he appears quite committed, both physically and athletically, he has struggled at times in both positioning and possession.

The first issue is somewhat related to the career risks that linebackers take on a team that requires them to play wide but the second problem is not easy to explain.

The success rate of passing in all three categories short, medium and long, albeit after only five games, is shy of Ayling’s numbers in the Premier League.

Long passes in particular were more dangerous than hits, for the 25-year-old.

Where he has a slight advantage over his biggest rival at right-back in the air, he wins two-thirds of his aerial duels. By comparison, Ayling wins about half of his peer.

Another consideration for Marsh is how well Christensen knows his system, having played with him at RB Salzburg. His knowledge of what Brendan Aaronson would do and how they should relate them is more instinctive, at the moment, than Ayling’s knowledge.

Both men are eager to move on and add something in the last third.

This was the biggest takeaway from Ayling’s Fright Night Show on Elland Road.

Showing no signs of playing within himself or taking it steadily, he runs from defense to offense and desperately tries to either be in between goals or put in more.

His best chance in the first half came by running into the area in support of Crysencio Summerville, only to take a heavy touch when the clip found him.

In the second half, there was almost an assist, on two occasions, for Patrick Bamford.

And perhaps there was a goal, had he provided something more brilliant than the finishing touch than Summerville’s feeding 16 minutes left.

By playing the full 80 minutes, though, Ayling put the cat between the bathrooms because he couldn’t now be too far from his 90 minutes of fitness.

Premier League 2 isn’t the real thing, far from it, and Christensen has the advantage of early summer and potentially competitive time with Denmark over the next week.

It may not be long before he and eyelashes take neck and neck.

Marsh may have a hard time picking a winner.