Wilfred Singo: Player & Video Report
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 Wilfried Singo’s rise to the Serie A spotlight only recently arrived in the beginning of 2019 when he moved from AS Denguélé in Odienné, Ivory Coast to Turin in northern Italy. He was initially discovered by Torino scouts as a Denguele youth product after then sporting director Gianluca Petrachi was impressed by the youngster’s physique and football intelligence. 


More importantly, he had already represented Ivory Coast U20 national team in the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations qualifiers. Singo even scored a goal as Ivory Coast crashed out in the second round after a 3-2 aggregate loss to Gabon. 


He first made headlines in Italy after putting in impressive performances for Torino Primavera, with who he spent only 6 months before being called up for his services to the first team. Even during his stint with the U19 team, Singo was partially promoted to the first team due to regular injuries to starters, but his inexperience forced the club  to push him back to the youth setup to gain more playing time and experience. Singo was ever-present in the Torino U19 starting eleven during the end of the 2018/29 Campionato Primavera season as he appeared in 5 matches & later in the 2019/20 season, when he appeared in almost every match as the club succumbed to a lowly 13th place finish. 


His first call up to the senior squad came against Chievo Verona. Although he did not play a single minute, former head coach Walter Mazzarri said: “Singo is an elegant defender, he gives the idea of being good with both feet. He is very young, perhaps a bit light. But the sensations are very positive." 
The talented prodigy has now etched himself in the Torino lineup as a right wingback in a 3-5-2 formation adopted by current manager Davide Nicola.


Originally a defender in the right half of the pitch, playing as a right-back, Singo’s greatest strength comes with his versatility. The 20-year-old youngster is known for excelling in the wing-back position and also has been occasionally used as a right-back in a back four. But, if someone does watch Singo for the first time without knowing his player profile, they would certainly think he is a right midfielder. 


He has also played as a right centre-back in a defensive trio – adding more credibility to his ability of being flexible as the situation and formation demands.
As someone who prefers to make darting runs and support forward play, Singo’s comfort on the ball cannot be undermined. The Ivorian loves to dribble past opposition and make short passes, involving himself endlessly in team play – a kind of player that any team would prefer having. His statistics this season in Italy of 2 average successful dribbles per game and one key pass per game proves that. His defensive skills will take couple more years to develop fully, given the fact that this is his first season as a professional in an European league. The most polished attacking teams he’s faced this season include Juventus, AC Milan & Inter Milan, matches where he has shown glimpses of his brilliance but ultimately let down by an underperforming team. 


He manages a pass success rate of 81%, with around 27 passes average per match – low numbers but numbers that correlate with the type of game Torino play. He is a good passer of the ball and does specifically well with long passes. 


Other than his versatility, which is arguably his greatest strength, he possesses great energy and stamina to last for the whole ninety minutes. His natural fitness is commendable. Also, Singo’s dribbling and quick acceleration allows him to overlap with great intensity, giving the team the opportunity to exploit space in the final third. Teams that play with a counter-attacking style suit Singo the most, as he tends to facilitate the movement of the ball from deep in the defensive half and through the midfield, and sometimes going all the way to attempt a finish. 


At only 20, he stands tall at 6’2”, making him a natural winner of the ball in the air and an asset during indirect set piece situations. His heading ability and aerial duels allow him to defend corners and aerial situations when on the back foot. Between his attacking flair and defensive play, he does better in the former. 


Singo is a threat against any team that prefers to play with a conservative style of play due to his ball retention skills and tight defensive marking. He possesses too much of an attacking talent to be tied to the right-back position, but nonetheless his defensive skills cannot be questioned. Some of his weaknesses include lapses of concentration when defending and positional play, which can certainly be improved with experience. 


He has the potential to become one of Europe’s best budding wing-backs and see his name mentioned alongside the likes of youngsters excelling in that position such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Achraf Hakimi or Wan-Bissaka. Given his performances for Torino, defensively he is not the greatest asset, but when combined with his attacking skills, Singo can be a force to be reckoned with. 


It will be difficult to retain Singo if Torino do manage to get relegated, as they sit just above Crotone, Parma and Cagliari in the relegation zone. AC Milan & Liverpool have already expressed interest in the energetic talent and next season will unquestionably see other top European clubs on the hunt for his signature. 
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