Sports

Torino style restricts Ola Aina’s match time

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Super Eagle Ola Aina has been starved of regular playing time in his Italian club, Torino, after being subjected to a fight for his position in the starting lineup.

The Nigerian international and versatile defender who plays as a wing-back or right-back has either come from in as a substitute or substituted in most matches.

While some Nigerian media think that the Super Eagle must have been subjected to this treatment following his appearance in the Nigeria senior men’s team to play against Ghana, The Trumpet report otherwise.

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Aina’s club Torino adopted a 3-4-2-1 system of football which projects three central defenders after the goalkeeper, two wing-backs, and two central midfielders on the next array comprising four players, two midfielders thereafter, and the central striker.

On the array of four, comprising two wing-backs, Torino rotates the position, right and left wings, among three players, Ola Aina, Ivorian Wilfred Singo, and Kosovan Mergin Vojvoda.

Aina, 25, after the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana on March 29, returned to Italy and was listed as an unused substitute against Serie A side Salernitana, Joel Obi’s club, on the 2nd of April.

Following the away match against Salernitana in Stadio Arechi, Aina came in as a second-half substitute against AC Milan on April 10th at the Olimpico di Torino.

Torino head coach, Ivan Juris, drafted the Super Eagle in the starting lineup against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico after Milan’s encounter that ended barren.

Surprisingly, the Super Eagle played the entire 90 minutes against Atalanta which ended 4-4 after being benched against Spezia and in the recent 3-1 win against Empoli.

The player, who joined Torino from Chelsea after a successful loan spell in Stadio di Torino where he made 30 appearances and scored his debut goal against Udinese on February 2, 2019, completed a permanent switch worth £9m to II Toro on 11 June 2019.

Aina’s major challenge lies with Juris, who deniably, prefers to use Singo and Vojvoda more regularly in Torino’s starting lineups. The Super Eagle has featured 21 times for Torino this season in all competitions.

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