Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

Premier League • England

Nottingham Forest eye Ola Aina as new wing-back solution amid interest from Prem rival

Ola Aina chasing Theo Hernandez

Ola Aina could return to English football from Serie A side Torino, as a report has suggested Nottingham Forest and Leeds United are watching him.

Chelsea academy product Aina joined Torino, initially on loan, in 2018. Since then, he has made 92 appearances for the Italian club. However, he has also ventured back into English football once, on loan with Fulham in the 2020-21 season.

Now, the wing-back is being linked with a Premier League return again. According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Aina is being watched by Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.

His contract with Torino, which was signed when he made a permanent move there in 2019, only has 12 months left to run on it. Therefore, the Serie A side must make a decision on whether to renew his deal or sell him.

During the 2021-22 season, he started fewer than half of their league games. From 23 appearances between Serie A and the Coppa Italia, he was unable to provide a goal or assist.

Hence, he may not be at the centre of their plans. It could prompt a return to the Premier League at the age of 25.

When he was at Fulham, Aina made 33 appearances and scored twice. Perhaps it could be time for the Nigeria international to venture back to Britain.

As Gazzetta note, he is on the radar of Leeds, who just avoided relegation last season, and Forest, who won promotion via the play-offs.

Nottingham Forest would be better choice for Ola Aina

Between the two suitors, a move to Forest may make the most sense. They enjoyed the services of Djed Spence on their right flank last season while he was on loan from Middlesbrough.

But now, Spence seems to be on the verge of signing for Tottenham Hotspur. Therefore, Forest will need to find a replacement.

Their only other option in his position is January recruit Richie Laryea, who only made five Championship appearances – including a mere one start – after joining.

Aina would be likely to receive regular gametime in his preferred position if he was to sign for Forest. What’s more, his versatility means he could give them an option in a number of other roles too.

In contrast, a move to Leeds would be difficult due to their addition of Rasmus Kristensen at right-back. As stated, Aina could yet feature on the other side for them, where Junior Firpo hasn’t convinced, but he may find Forest’s tactics a better fit for his style anyway.

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