Ogbonna has the raw tools to be a huge success at the back

David Bowden says the Italian defender can adapt to English football

As strong as an ox and as quick as a cheetah, I believe Angelo Ogbonna is going to be a more than useful acquisition to West Ham’s squad.

He became the Hammers sixth summer signing when he joined from Juventus in early July and is a very welcome recruit to the Irons back four. Capped ten times by Italy, Ogbonna is known for his quick decision-making, strength on the ball, and is left footed which adds a nice balance to the back-line Despite standing at 6ft 3 inches, Ogbonna is also known for his speed and reading of the game and I have no doubts that he will be able to settle quickly in the Premier League.

I’ve felt for a number of years now that we need another centre back at the club but to have secured one with such experience and pedigree is a credit to the club. The 27-year-old received praise from his new teammate James Collins who described him as a good communicator, quick and a great reader of the game. If it is good enough for Ginge, it is good enough for me. Speaking to a few London-based West Ham fans that follow Juventus as their second club, they seem to think he will prove to be a very astute piece of business for the Irons.

The collective opinion is that a few years ago he would have demanded a much bigger transfer fee, so it seems as though he could well prove to be quite a coup for Slaven Bilic Born to Nigerian parents in Cassino in Italy, he gained his Italian citizenship shortly after his 18th birthday. He plied his youth trade at local club A.S.D Nuova Cassino in Italy’s sixth division before catching the eye of Torino General Manager Antonia Comi who brought the youngster to the club for €4,000 as a 14-year-old.

He impressed as he rose through the ranks at Torino and made his debut as an 18-year-old. Dubbed as a rising star during his seven-year stay at the club, he secured a move to near neighbours and Italian giants Juventus in 2013. Despite enjoying an ever-growing reputation he found opportunities few and far between at the Old Lady appearing just 41 times during his two-year stint at the Italian champions. That doesn’t tell the whole story though, getting ahead of the superstars at Juve is a tough task in itself with Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Martin Caceres all in front of Ogbonna in the pecking order

Regardless of finding opportunities limited the 27-year-old did enjoy a very successful spell at the Turin-based club securing two-league titles and an Champions League runners-up medal before securing a move to London. Fingers crossed that his success in Italy is only the start for Angelo as he embarks on his new career with West Ham.

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