Torino of Italy defender, Ola Aina has come out with a down-to-earth confession that moving to the Italian Serie A has helped him improve on his game and believes the reflection is also showing in his performances with the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The former England youth international capped a tremendous AAFCON debut with a marvelous back-heeled assist that gave Nigeria a 1-0 win against Burundi last Saturday, then followed up with another masterful performance in a win of same scoreline against Guinea on Wednesday, both of which he says showed vast improvements in his game.
All along, the ex-England under-19 team’s captain had been versatile in his abilities, as he can play as a full-back or wing-back either on the right or left sides of the pitch, but his displays so far at AFCON 2019 have been so remarkable that Nigerian soccer fans cannot even remember he was dropped from the squad to Russia 2018 World Cup.
However, all that is in the past for Aina, who became cap-tied to Nigeria when he made his competitive debut for the Eagles against Zambia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in October 2017, after which he says he had no regret whatsoever for switching national team allegiance from England.
Further down the line, Aina, who played on loan at Torino from Chelsea of England last season, but got a full contract earlier this month, based on his stunning form in his Serie A debut season, has now admitted that moving to Turin improved his game.
While acknowledging how happy he is that he is comfortable playing on both sides of defence, and doing a tremendous job as Nigeria’s first choice left-back at AFCON 2019, though he is right-footed, Aina posited that he still has other areas of his game to improve upon.
Aina stated: ”There is still more to improve on because I don’t feel I am the finished product yet but I am enjoying my football right now.
“I am enjoying this team. Left side, right side for me it is still the same. I feel comfortable on the left just as I feel on the right.
”Of course, last season going to Italy has helped me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So, I feel like I have improved.”