Aina: Sarri was a great man but I left Chelsea for new opportunity at Torino

The Super Eagles defender was forced to leave Stamford Bridge initially on loan in the summer of 2018 before securing a permanent deal in Italy

Torino wing-back Ola Aina revealed he left Chelsea after Maurizio Sarri told him he would not play under him.

Aina joined Torino temporarily in August 2018 for his second loan spell out of Stamford Bridge, after the Italian manager advised him to leave the club.

The 23-year-old shined during his debut campaign in Italy, playing 30 games with a goal to his name in the Serie A, and he was rewarded with a permanent contract the following year.

He revealed there were offers from Championship clubs before leaving, however, Torino’s ambition to qualify for the Europa League convinced him to make the switch.

“He told me that I would have to go on loan because I wouldn’t play,” Aina said in an Instagram Live session.

“During the transfer window, I had only received offers from the Championship but I wanted to play in the Premier League.

“When the Bull called me, I accepted immediately, because I would have had the opportunity to play in Serie A, in important stadiums and against top-level teams and players, above all in a team that wanted to go to the Europa League.”

Following his rise through the Chelsea academy, Aina played six games for the Blues, including three appearances in the Premier League before his exit.

Aina made his professional debut and Premier League bow in 2016 under Antonio Conte, and he described the Inter Milan boss as ‘a truly great man’.

“He is truly a great man. He is one of those coaches who takes care of every aspect with his staff and there is a lot to work on,” he said.

This season, Aina played 25 games in all competitions for Torino who are 15th in the Serie A table.