Leeds United have been heavily linked with a move for Ola Aina in recent weeks, and it would appear extremely wise for Victor Orta to launch an official bid for the Torino wing-back as soon as he possibly can.
Indeed, Nigerian media outlet PUNCH Sports Extra (via Sport Witness) claimed last week that Leeds have now been joined in the race for the 26-year-old by both West Ham United and Crystal Palace – with the former ‘set to revive’ their interest in the Nigeria international after a ‘failed’ bid for the flanker in the summer transfer window.
And, while it is true that the Whites are reported to be close to sealing an £18m deal for Red Bull Salzburg defender Maximilian Wober – who can operate from centre or left-back – considering just how much attacking intent Aina would undoubtedly bring to Leeds, it would still seem an intelligent move for Orta to launch a bid for the Torino star this winter.
Indeed, over his 21 Serie A appearances last season – 15 of which came at left wing-back – the £3.6m-rated talent was in fantastic attacking form, 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 defender 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 fixture.
These returns saw the player who Michael Oti Adjei dubbed “unreal” average a highly impressive Sofascore match rating of 6.82, ranking him as Torino’s joint 15th-best player in the Italian top flight in 2021/22.
It has been a similar story over Aina’s ten league outings in the current campaign, with the former Chelsea talent having already hit the back of the net once and created three big chances, in addition to taking an average of 0.6 shots, making 0.7 key passes and completing 1.1 dribbles per match.
These metrics have seen the 29-cap international – who is said to be valued by Torino at a figure in the region of €10m (£9m) – average an equally impressive Sofascore match rating of 6.88, currently ranking him as Ivan Juric’s sixth-best performer in Serie A.
As such, with Wober also posing a significant threat going forwards – having scored one goal, registered two assists and created five big chances over his 15 Austrian Bundesliga fixtures this season – should Orta manage to get a deal for both the Austrian and Aina over the line in January, the Spaniard will certainly have formed an extremely deadly defensive duo at Elland Road.