Former Chelsea wing-back Ola Aina says he is loving life in Italy but admits it was not easy leaving the Blues this summer. Aina joined Serie A side, Torino on a permanent deal after impressing on loan last season.
“It was tough because that is all I knew, my whole life,” said the former England youth international, who spent last season on loan in Turin before making the move permanent in a €10m deal.
“It was a hard decision, but for me, just going on the season I had last season, it was right for me to do,” Aina told London Weekly News.
Asked whether he considered trying to break in at Chelsea because of the club’s transfer ban, he said: “It would cross anyone’s mind. I thought about it but I wasn’t sure if it would be the right time for me.
“I had a lot of contact with Eddie Newton (the former player who is part of Frank Lampard’s management team but previously looked after Chelsea’s legion of on-loan players).
“I spoke with Eddie at length and in detail so we both came to sort of an agreement and he wished me all the best of luck and said if I ever needed his help, or some of the staff’s help in future, I could always knock on their door.”
In terms of his first-team opportunities at Chelsea, the Torino player said: “When Antonio (Conte) was there, I knew I had a bit of a chance but I was still young and still had a lot to learn.
“I had a good season here in Italy on loan so I was really happy to come back. They exercised their option and it was sort of a no-brainer really.”