Leeds United have been handed a boost in their bid to bring Ola Aina to Elland Road in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Italian publication Tuttosport (via Sport Witness), who claim that, after being linked with a move for the Torino full-back over the course of the summer, Victor Orta could now be handed a second chance to land the 26-year-old this winter, with the Serie A side now said to be ‘on the hunt for potential buyers’ in January.
The report goes on to state that this is down to the fact that the Nigeria international’s current contract at the Stadio Olimpico is set to expire at the end of the season, with technical director Davide Vagnati eager to receive some sort of fee for a player he valued at €10m (£8.7m) in the summer transfer window.
Considering just how solid Aina has been for Torino in recent seasons, coupled with the fact the former Chelsea starlet is able to feature from either left or right-back, the argument that Orta simply must launch a move for the defender in January is an incredibly easy one to make.
Indeed, over his 21 Serie A appearances – 15 of which came from left wing-back – last season, the £3.6m-rated talent highly impressed in an attacking capacity, creating five big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 0.5 shots, making 0.8 key passes and completing 0.9 dribbles per game.
The £31k-per-week full-back also caught the eye in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.3 interceptions, 1.3 tackles, 1.2 clearances and winning 4.3 duels – at a success rate of 53% – per game, with these returns seeing the player who Michael Oti Adjei dubbed “unreal” average an impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.82.
It has been a similar story over his 10 league outings – six of which have come at left wing-back – in the current campaign, with the 26-year-old having already scored one goal and created three big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 0.7 key passes, 1.3 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and winning 4.3 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per game.
These returns have seen the 29-cap international average an even more impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.88, currently ranking him as Ivan Jurić’s sixth-best performer in the top flight of Italian football.
As such, with left-back having been something of a big problem for Jesse Marsch since his appointment at Elland Road earlier this year – with Junior Firpo struggling with both form and injuries since his move to the club last summer – it is easy to see why Orta would be keen on a move for Aina in January, as a player of his ability would be a very welcome addition at the back.