By Craig Scott

7th Jan, 2022 | 5:10pm

Leeds United in hunt to sign Torino defender Ola Aina

Leeds United have set their sights on signing former Chelsea defender Ola Aina from Torino this month, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.

The Italian football news website reports that Torino, who are 12th in Serie A, are working on selling players and buying new players in the January transfer window.

It is suggested that one of the players who they are working on selling is Aina, a 25-year-old Nigeria international who can play as either a left-back or a right-back.

Extra depth

If Aina’s available on the cheap and willing to come to Elland Road to be a squad player then we’re all for it.

Over the course of this season, we’ve seen Stuart Dallas deployed at left-back and right-back, with Pascal Struijk and Jamie Shackleton also having to play at full-back roles, due to the injuries at Elland Road.

Junior Firpo is the only natural left-back in this side and Luke Ayling is the only out-and-out right-back with a decent amount of senior experience.

If one of them gets injured or suspended or gets a positive COVID test result then it usually forces Marcelo Bielsa to move Dallas to the full-back areas when he’s far better in the midfield.

Aina can cover both sides of the defence and even play at centre-back or as a wing-back – so it would make sense to sign someone like him. He’s also prone to scoring belters as his goal versus West Brom in November showed last season when he won the Premier League’s goal of the month.

The London-born Nigeria international, who’s been capped 21 times, is going to be unavailable for several weeks due to the Africa Cup of Nations so if Leeds want depth at full-back straight away, he isn’t their man.

But Aina is experienced in the Premier League having made 34 appearances in England’s top-flight, plus a further 44 in the Championship, and also has 78 Serie A appearances to his name.

He’s experienced, he’s versatile and he seems to be available so if Leeds can wait until AFCON is over, the Torino man is someone who may be a decent addition at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites have beaten Newcastle in the race to sign an attacking sensation, according to Phil Hay.