Spanish defender Daniel Ayala completed his transfer from Liverpool
to Norwich on 16th August 2011. The twenty year old signed a four
year deal for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around £800,000.
Ayala moved to Liverpool in September 2007 after rejecting the
offer of a professional contract from Seville where he had come
through the youth team. He played for Liverpool's Under-18s, reaching
the FA Youth Cup final in 2008/09, and reserves.Ayala made his
senior debut for Liverpool on 16th August 2009 in a Premier League
match against Tottenham Hotspur, coming on as a substitute for
the injured Martin krtel and made his first start against
Stoke City at Anfield three days later. He made a total of 5 appearances
In September 2010, Ayala joined Championship side Hull City on
loan, and made 12 appearances, including one against Norwich.
He scored once. Returning to Anfield, he was loaned in February
2011 to Derby for whom he made 11 appearances.
Ayala made his debut for Norwich as a substitute, following Leon
Barnett's unfair dismissal, in the 1-1 home draw with Stoke
on 21st August 2011
Having missed some of the season through injury, Ayala finished
the season with 10 appearances as Norwich finished 12th in the
On 7th August 2012, Ayala was loaned to Notts Forest for the
2012/13 season. Norwich manager Chris Hughton
could not guarantee Ayala regular first team football and felt
the Spaniards development would be helped with a spell at
Forest. Ayala made 14 appearances for Forest, scoring once against
In August 2013, Ayala was linked by media in the North East with
a move to Middlesbrough. This finally came true on 24th October
2013 with Ayala joining Boro on a three month loan. Ayala becomes
Boro's first signing since Tony Mowbray was sacked on Monday 21st
October and Mark Venus was made caretaker boss.
Ayala permanently joined Boro on 24th January 2014 for a fee
reported to be £350,000.
Ayala and his Boro teammates lost out in the 2014/15 Championship play-offs to Norwich but went on to finish second in 2015/16 and secure promotion to the Premier League. He scored three times in 39 appearances in the latter season. He won the PFA Fans' Player of the Year award for the Championship.
Ayala and Boro were relegated to the Championship on 8th May 2017 following a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea - Ayala didn't play in that game but made 17 appearances that season.
Media reports in June 2020 suggested that Ayala was to reject a new contract with Boro and leave the Riverside Stadium with Leeds United keen to sign him. Ayala left Boro on 27th June 2020, along with teammate Rudy Gestede, after they failed to agree contract extensions. According to Wales Online on 4th August 2020, Swansea manager Steve Cooper is supposedly interested in adding an experienced central defender and Ayala is a potential signing. Ayala was also linked with Birmingham whose new manager Altor Karanka was at Boro with Ayala. Spanish side Leganes are also said to be interested. He was then expected to move to Saudi Arabia in early September but instead signed a three year contract with Blackburn Rovers on 15th September 2020.