'One of our starters' - Peseiro labels Chelsea product Aina 'an important player' for NigeriaPublished: November 10, 2022
Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro has labeled Chelsea academy product Ola Aina 'an important player' for the Super Eagles, adding that he is one of the first names on the team sheet.
Statistics back up Peseiro's claim that the Torino defender is a key player for the national team as he has started eight of the eleven matches played by the Super Eagles A team in 2022.
His number of starts would have been more than eight but he was rested for Nigeria's dead rubber 2021 AFCON clash against Guinea Bissau and didn't start the friendlies with Mexico and Ecuador only because of injury.
Few years ago, Aina was struggling to get games at Chelsea, leading to loan spells at Hull City and Torino, but he has now risen to prominence within the Nigeria set up due to his ability to play multiple positions on the pitch including left-back, right-back, wing-back and as a midfielder.
Apart from Aina, Peseiro is also keeping tabs on other Nigerian players in Italy such as Cremonese duo Cyriel Dessers and David Okereke, Udinese's Isaac Success and Empoli right-back Tyronne Ebuehi.
Speaking to Tuttomercatoweb, Peseiro said : "Ola Aina is one of our starters, an important player. Ebuehi will come with us, Dessers also scored in the last friendly match.
"Then there are also Okereke, Success and more: we are really happy with all the guys and we believe in them a lot."
Peseiro will not be able to call upon Aina for next week's friendly against Portugal as the defender is still recovering from a muscle-related injury he suffered in training.
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