Chelsea are set to wave goodbye to impressive youth player Ola Aina following the news that Torino have exercised their option to sign him on a permanent deal, the Standard reports.
At the beginning of the season, the 22-year-old joined a long-list of loanee players who Chelsea, a notoriously busy provider of short term deals, have dispersed across the world (41 in total, to be precise).
The youngster was in good form during the 2018-19 season, making 30 Serie A appearances in total – 22 of those came in the starting line-up – while also providing three assists.
The option to sign Aina on a permanent basis for £8.7m was inserted into the deal last summer but, naturally, circumstances have changed at Chelsea with the club facing the very real prospect of a transfer ban, and now they’re apparently having second thoughts.
Those at Stamford Bridge have reportedly been assessing all loan players throughout the year and deciding who is and isn’t good enough with Aina among the fortunate few to be deemed satisfactory for a squad role next season.
However, it seems this message hasn’t got through to Torino president Urbano Cairo, who claims the player is now theirs.
Speaking to Sky Italia (via the Standard), Cairo said “We exercised our option to buy Ola Aina, as well as [Christian] Ansaldi and [Koffi] Djidji, adding, “now Torino own all their players.”
Given Chelsea are particularly vulnerable in the right-back position with just Cesar Azpilicueta and Davide Zappacosta currently at their disposal (the latter of whom has been recently linked with a move back to Italy). Indeed, it wouldn’t have hurt their prospects to have an attack-minded, developing full-back like Aina in the ranks; someone who has managed on average 1 dribble per game, which is more than both Azpilicueta (0.3) and Zappacosta (0.5) combined, as per Who Scored.
Having already waved goodbye to Premier League success stories Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah, who have come away with a domestic treble and a Champions League trophy, respectively, could this be another case of ‘what if’ for Chelsea fans to despair over in years to come?
Considering the fact that the Daily Mail reported back in April that the club did have plans to include him in first-team proceedings, you get the feeling that the club will be missing a talent they rate.
Chelsea fans, would you have liked to have seen Aina given a chance next season (Torino deal aside)? Can you see this move coming back to bite you? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!