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Leeds: Whites still keen on Ola Aina

Leeds: Whites still keen on Ola Aina -Leeds United News

Leeds United could move for Ola Aina despite signing Rasmus Kristensen, according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness). 

The lowdown

Aina came through the youth ranks at Chelsea before joining Serie A outfit Torino in an £8.8million permanent deal in 2019 on the back of a successful loan.

The Nigeria international, who also had a temporary spell in the Premier League with Fulham in 2020/21, is predominantly a right-back.

And that’s the same position as Kristensen, who made an £11.7million move to Elland Road earlier in the summer.

The latest

Gazzetta claim that Aina is still being ‘closely watched‘ by Leeds, but they aren’t the only Premier League suitor.

Newly-promoted Nottingham Forest are also said to be monitoring the 25-year-old.

The verdict

How do Aina and Kristensen fit into the same squad?

Well, the key is Aina’s versatility. He may be a right-back by trade, but he can also as a left-back, centre-back, number six and as a winger on either flank – that could make him an excellent utility option for Jesse Marsch, much in the same way both he and Marcelo Bielsa used the injured Stuart Dallas.

Indeed, European football expert Alex Barker admits it’s ‘confusing‘ to see Aina popping up in so many different roles.

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On top of that, he brings ‘quality‘ too, in the words of manager Ivan Juric.

Aina has shown he can effectively augment an attack, ranking in the top 30 percentiles for progressive passes, progressive carries, successful dribbles and touches in the opposition area.

He’s similar in profile to Southampton duo Valentino Livramento and Kyle Walker-Peters, as well as Brighton’s Marc Cucurella.

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