Carayol is ready for instant debut for Whites

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Leeds United and Rotherham United have both moved in the transfer market to improve their squads ahead of today’s FA Cup third round tie.

The Whites made Middlesbrough winger Mustapha Carayol their second signing of the January window, with the Gambian international joining on loan until the end of the season.

Winger Carayol spent the first half of the season on loan with Huddersfield Town, a spell that was cut short earlier this week.

He scored three goals in 15 league appearances for the Terriers, including the second, match-clinching goal two minutes after coming on against Bolton last weekend.

The 27-year-old expressed his delight at joining a “very big club” and reuniting with head coach Steve Evans, whom he played under at Crawley Town.

Carayol said: “This is a great opportunity for me to come here and, hopefully, play some regular football at a very big club.

“I know the gaffer and Paul Raynor from my time at Crawley and I am looking forward to working with both of them again here.

“It was a move which happened very quickly and one which I am delighted to have been able to finalise so soon.

“I’m looking forward to meeting up with the lads. I’ve got my first training session Saturday morning and I’m available to play in the cup should I be picked.

“I’d love to make my debut at Elland Road in front of the Leeds United supporters. I’ve played there before and I know what it’s all about. It’s a special place to play football.”

Rotherham have signed central defender Aimen Belaid from Levski Sofia on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The 27-year-old has been hailed as a “perfect” signing by Neil Redfearn.

Redfearn believes that he will prove a good addition once he adjusts to the Championship and said: “He’s somebody that has been on the radar for a while.

“There are lots of clubs that have expressed an interest in England and Scotland. When it looked like he would become available, in where we need to strengthen, then he was perfect.

“He is the right age, he is right in the middle of his career. He is very athletic, he has pace, he is naturally left-footed, which gives you balance. Left-footed centre-backs are like hen’s teeth, difficult to get a hold of.

“He fills one or two roles. He can play left-back, centre-back, left-midfield. He is comfortable in possession.

“He needs to adjust to the level, because the level is different, it’s tough. But he’s a tough character.

“He is athletic, he has strength and his ability to defend is going to be a real asset for us.”

Rotherham have also signed goalkeeper Alex Cairns, whom Redfearn worked with at Leeds, from Chesterfield, taken former Leeds player Luciano Becchio on trial and agreed to the mutual termination of Aidy White’s contract. White has joined Barnsley.