Leeds United could soon seal an upgrade at left-back ahead of the 2022/23 campaign…
According to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness), the Yorkshire outfit have launched a move for Torino star Ola Aina, though they aren’t the only team interested in his signature.
The former Chelsea graduate’s future in Turin is open to discussion but it remains to be seen exactly what sort of fee would seal his departure.
A once right-sided player by trade, Aina has settled in at Torino as a left wing-back, featuring more times there across his 23 appearances in 2021/22 than any other role.
The Nigeria international enjoyed a solid campaign in Italy, where he averaged 1.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 1.2 clearances per game, via WhoScored, displaying his ability to defend resolutely.
He also influenced the game further up the pitch, having registered an average of 0.9 dribbles and 0.8 key passes per game, too.
Aina’s form and impact at the Bulls once led to veteran teammate Cristian Ansaldi singing his praises. “I see him very often. He has an intelligence that allows him to play in many positions, then physically he is an animal, more or less like [Wilfried] Singo.”
Leeds have toiled in the left-back position, with summer signing Junior Firpo failing to live up to expectations following his move from Barcelona.
“If anything, he’s been more of a liability for Leeds,” claimed Mirror journalist David Anderson when speaking about the 25-year-old’s form to GIVEMESPORT.
Indeed, Firpo racked up a whopping 11 yellow cards throughout the season, proving to struggle against many Premier League opposition. His defending was even described as “schoolboy” by former Whites shot-stopper Paul Robinson.
It’s hard to argue against the ex-Barca ace being anything but a mistake from director of football Victor Orta but it’s one he can rectify as the club plot a bargain move for Aina, who is clearly a more reliable option for the position.
AND in other news, Orta dealt blow in Takumi Minamino pursuit…