Ayala training with Liverpool in 2011
|Full name||Daniel Sánchez Ayala|
|Date of birth||7 November 1990|
|Place of birth||El Saucejo, Spain|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|2010||→ Hull City (loan)||12||(1)|
|2011||→ Derby County (loan)||17||(0)|
|2012–2013||→ Nottingham Forest (loan)||12||(1)|
|2013–2014||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||13||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:00, 2 March 2019 (UTC)|
Daniel Sánchez Ayala (born 7 November 1990) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central defender for English club Middlesbrough. His first club were Premier League club Liverpool, where he spent two seasons as a reserve. He has been on loan at three clubs: Hull City, Derby County and Nottingham Forest. He joined Norwich City in 2011, and joined Middlesbrough on loan in October 2013, before joining the club on a permanent deal in January 2014.
Born in El Saucejo, Seville, Andalusia, Ayala agreed a move to Liverpool in September 2007 after rejecting a professional contract with Sevilla, where he came through the youth team. Liverpool paid a compensation fee to Sevilla and Ayala was offered a three-year contract. In the 2007–08 season he featured predominantly in the Under-18 team, whilst in the 2008–09 season he split his time between the Under-18 and reserve teams. He played through injury in the FA Youth Cup 2008–09 Final defeat to Arsenal.
Ayala made his senior debut on 16 August 2009 in a Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur, coming on as a substitute for the injured Martin Škrtel and made his first start against Stoke City at Anfield three days later. On Halloween, he came on as a substitute in Liverpool's 3–1 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage, after Jamie Carragher and Philipp Degen were sent off. He also played in Liverpool's 4–0 win over Burnley, subsequently relegating them to the Championship, and Liverpool's 2–0 defeat against Chelsea. On 12 November, it was announced that the player had signed an extended contract keeping him at Liverpool until the summer of 2012.
In September 2010, Ayala joined Championship side Hull City on loan. He started the same day in Hull City's away match at Cardiff City which they lost 2–0. In his second match for the club against Derby County he scored his first goal in a competitive match. On 20 September, Liverpool announced that his loan period had been extended until 1 January. Ayala played 12 times for Hull in all competitions, scoring once. On 27 December, he returned to Liverpool due to an injury crisis.
On 11 February 2011, Derby County finally signed Ayala on a loan deal until the end of the season, after the move was delayed due to the players hamstring injury which he picked up while playing for Hull City. He went on to play 17 times for Derby, making 16 consecutive starts.
On 13 August 2011, Ayala signed for Norwich City for a reported fee of £800,000. The deal officially went through on 16 August 2011. Ayala was handed the number 26 shirt, vacated by Steven Smith and was named in the squad for the Premier League fixture against Stoke City at Carrow Road on 21 August 2011. This was due to Zak Whitbread being rated as doubtful for the fixture after picking up a knee knock against Wigan. He made his debut for Norwich as a second-half substitute for Anthony Pilkington following Leon Barnett's sending off against Stoke.
Unfortunately, Daniel suffered a nasty knee injury in the League Cup defeat to Milton Keynes Dons ruling him out for two months. He made his Norwich comeback in the 1–1 draw against Fulham, starting with Zak Whitbread and playing 90 minutes. He played 90 minutes in goal-less draw against Chelsea at home. Ayala was ruled out for a few weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in the 2–0 win over Bolton.
On 23 October 2013, Ayala joined Championship club Middlesbrough on a three-month emergency loan spell. He made his debut for Middlesbrough two days later, when his new side crushed Doncaster Rovers 4–0, taking the honour of scoring on his debut. He bagged in his second goal for the club in his third appearance in their 2–2 draw with Watford, where he scored the equaliser in the final minute of added time.
On 24 January 2014, Ayala joined Middlesbrough on a permanent forty-two month contract. Ayala thus became recently-appointed manager Aitor Karanka's first permanent signing for Middlesbrough, with the fee reported to be in the region of £350,000.
- As of 20 April 2018.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Norwich City||2011–12||Premier League||7||0||2||0||1||0||—||—||10||0|
|Hull City (loan)||2010–11||Championship||12||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||12||1|
|Derby County (loan)||2010–11||17||0||0||0||0||0||—||—||17||0|
|Nottingham Forest (loan)||2012–13||12||1||0||0||2||0||—||—||14||1|
- PFA Team of the Year: 2015–16 Championship
- PFA Fans' Player of the Year: 2015–16 Championship
- "Squads for 2016/17 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "Sanchez Ayala official profile". Liverpoolfc.tv. Archived from the original on 19 August 2009.
- "Tottenham 2–1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 16 August 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "Liverpool 4 Stoke 0: Fernando Torres learns to shut up and put up for Rafa Benitez". Daily Mail. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "Ayala signs extended Liverpool deal". Anfield Online. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2009.
- "Defender seals loan deal". Liverpoolfc.tv. 11 September 2010. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010.
- "Cardiff 2–0 Hull". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
- "Hull 2–0 Derby". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- "Defender extends loan". liverpoolfc.tv. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010.
- "Norwich sign Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala". BBC Sport. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "Nottm Forest 3 Cardiff 1: Bluebirds knocked off their perch by Reid, Ayala and Sharp". Daily Mail. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012..
- "Middlesbrough: Norwich City's Daniel Ayala joins on loan". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Middlesbrough 4–0 Doncaster". BBC Sport. BBC. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- "Middlesbrough 2–2 Watford". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Transfer window: Norwich's Daniel Ayala joins Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Daniel Sanchez Ayala". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Games played by Daniel Sanchez Ayala in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
- "PFA awards: Leicester and Spurs dominate Premier League team". BBC Sport. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "Daniel Ayala wins PFA Fans' Player of the Season in the Championship". Sky Sports. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daniel Ayala.|