Angelo Ogbonna ready to step to the fore

The big time appears to be beckoning for wanted man Angelo Ogbonna. The 23 year-old 6ft2 defender has plied the majority of his trade in Serie B having made 66 out of 88 appearances for Torino in Italy’s second tier. However, the big guns have began circling as the likes of Juventus and Milan seek fresh blood to bolster their ageing and rocky backlines.
Ogbonna has not just burst onto the scene. He has been linked to big clubs for the past couple of years as scouts of England’s Premier League giants have taken note of the young man’s physical prowess. In a similarity he shares with Mario Balotelli, Ogbonna is an Italian of African decent, namely Nigerian. Also like Balotelli, the defender has failed to keep himself entirely out of trouble, as in 2008 he lost control of his car in the early hours of the morning and plunged over the side of a bridge and into a river. However, despite this accident, Ogbonna still remains in the limelight for his football ability alone and it is this ability that earned the defender a recent call-up to Cesare Prandelli’s Italy squad despite still playing in Serie B. Torino have reacted to the hype surrounding him by slapping a £20million price-tag on his head, with club president Urbano Cairo defending this decision by suggesting if Andrea Ranocchia should have cost Inter roughly the same, then Ogbonna’s price is justified.
Ogbonna possesses a multitude of attributes that make him such a sought-after player. One major bonus in the modern game’s climate is that he can operate comfortably at left-back as well as his natural position of centre-half. Technically he is gifted and has little history of any erratic behaviour at the back. With his relatively young age come great levels of maturity in terms of concentration and an impressive reading of the game. He is also physically imposing, has a tireless work-rate and is far from slow – again a hugely desired attribute for modern-day defenders. Being inexhaustible and strong in the tackle gives Ogbonna the platform to become a hugely influential character and would therefore benefit largely by becoming partner to an experienced veteran such as Alessandro Nesta to help develop his leadership qualities. Such tutoring could help mould Ogbonna into a leading figure for the Azzuri for years to come.
Now that Prandelli has demonstrated a willingness to select players who play in Serie B for his International squad, Ogbonna’s next move will have to be a wise one. Giving up regular football and a place in the national squad to become back-up at a bigger club could see a sudden halt in the development of his career. However, with the player’s desire to compete for the games highest honours, a move looks inevitable.

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