Wolves Opinion: Would Ola Aina be a good backup for Matt Doherty?
Wolverhampton Wanderers have taken the Premier League by storm on their return to the top flight following a six-year absence. Under the stewardship of a charismatic manager in Nuno Espirito Santo, Wolves have surpassed all expectations for a promoted team and are well and truly in the race for finishing the season as the ‘best of the rest’.
Wolves spent a fortune last summer to bolster their squad ahead of the current campaign, signing the likes of Joao Moutinho, Rui Patricio, Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and also making Diogo Jota’s stay permanent. Nuno Santo will be a happy man as all his summer recruits have managed to hit the ground running.
The decision to sign Jonny Otto Castro permanently in January was also a step in the right direction in relation to the club’s long-term plans, as were the new deals for Matt Doherty, Conor Coady and Romain Saiss.
It is now time for Wolves to build a strong base for the future and there are some areas in the squad that are in need of investment.
While making Raul Jimenez’s stay permanent remains a top priority for Wolves next summer, they should also dip into the transfer market to buy a back-up for right wing-back Matt Doherty. The Irishman has been one of the cornerstones of Wolves’ successful season so far but they do not have any realistic cover for him.
To put things into perspective, Wolves should make a move for Chelsea’s out of favour star Ola Aina in the summer. The 22-year-old Nigerian has impressed on loan at Torino in the Serie A and has been tipped by many to be the long-term successor to Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back.
Suited to a counter-attacking style of play with his pace and directness, Aina was handed his Chelsea debut by Antonio Conte a couple of seasons ago but the youngster hasn’t got a look in from current manager Maurizio Sarri.
One of Aina’s main traits is his versatility to play as a full-back on either side of the backline and also as a wing-back in a back three system. The Nigerian has proven his worth as a wing-back on either side on his loan spell at Torino this season.
Aina has just the perfect height for a full-back and his willingness and tenacity to run at defenders, combined with his acceleration, superior upper body strength and fantastic crossing ability make him a perfect fit for a wing-back.
To add to that, he has the pace to track back and close the opposition down, with his good tackling skills often coming to his rescue when the opposition try to launch a counter-attack.
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With his pinpoint crossing, ability to move the ball quickly and aggressiveness, Ola Aina would be a perfect fit for Wolves.
He has shown a lot of promise in recent years and has even made his cut at the senior level for Nigeria. Hence, Wolves should plot a summer swoop for the promising youngster to add more depth to their options.