Chelsea youngster Ola Aina finished his excellent loan season at Torino FC with a flourish, providing a glorious assist with a long throw for the opening goal in Il Toro’s 3-1 win over Lazio which confirmed their 7th place finish. That’s one below the last European spot, but it matches their best league position for the last quarter century, since an Enzo Scifo-led 3rd place finish in 1991-92 behind Capello’s unbeaten Milan “Invincibles” and a Juventus team featuring Roberto Baggio. (Torino were also runners-up in the UEFA Cup that year, and got the careers of Luca Marchegiani and Christian Vieri started. Early ‘90s Serie A was truly excellent.)
Also excellent, Ola Aina’s aforementioned long throw. Behold!
Here’s @Aina2Ola’s assist earlier— Ollie Glanvill (@OllieGlanvill) May 26, 2019
Cc: @CarefreeYouth @chelseayouth @ChelseaLoanArmy @NiiNiiFC pic.twitter.com/AN9Fkyc2ht
After the match, Torino president Urbano Cairo also confirmed that they do in fact plan on activating Aina’s €10m buyout clause. This had been the assumed outcome for some time, but recent reports had put it into some doubt, with Chelsea apparently hoping to entice him back to the Bridge and maybe even offer him a first-team chance thanks to the transfer ban.
“Ola Aina? He did well, tomorrow he will send the letter to Chelsea to communicate that we will exercise the right of redemption.”
-Urbano Cairo; source: Sky Italia via CM24
Aina has seemingly enjoyed his time at Torino this season, much more so than even he himself was expecting, and if the club are set to activate the clause, he’s probably given them assurances of wanting to join for good as well.
We can only wish him good luck in a situation that Chelsea messed up a long time ago.