One of Nigeria’s top players in the Italian top-flight would jump at the opportunity to return to England, but a club teammate believes he’ll grow into a more important player if he stays put in Turin
Argentine defender Cristian Ansaldi has been impressed with the work rate of Ola Aina during Torino’s preseason training and has hailed the Nigerian fullback’s stamina and versatility.
Aina spent last season on loan at Fulham, impressing even as the Cottagers struggled on their return to the English Premier League.
But any hope the Super Eagles defender had to make his loan deal permanent in London was extinguished following Fulham’s relegation to the Championship.
While a return to England where the 24-year-old was born is still not entirely out of the equation, new Torino boss Ivan Juric is keen to make the former Chelsea academy product a crucial part of his squad next season.
Aina has been showing off his intelligence, versatility, and strength by putting in shifts as a fullback, wingback, or centre-half in training, almost with the same intensity.
All these have been to the delight of club-mate Ansaldi, who wants the Nigerian to develop further under Juric.
“I see him (Aina) very often,” the Argentine defender told La Gazzetta dello Sport as per Calciomercato.
“He has an intelligence that allows him to play in many positions, then physically he is an animal, more or less like (Ivorian Wilfried) Singo.
“Juric will help him to grow even more.”
Aina played the last half-hour of Torino’s last friendly game on Saturday, with Il Toro running out 5-1 victors over Brixen.