Ola Aina has ended months of speculation surrounding his Chelsea future by agreeing a new 4-year-deal to stay with the Blues.
Temitayo Olufisayo Olaoluwa Aina is an English defender who has been a part of the Chelsea youth setup ever since he joined them in the 2008. The London-born defender has also represented England at the the under 18,19 and 20 level. Aina helped the under-19s retain their UEFA youth League title last season and is highly regarded by the Chelsea coaches. Even though he is yet to make his senior debut for the club, the defender has been marked as one for the future by the club’s staff.
There were growing rumours of his exit from Chelsea as his contract was up for expiry at the end of the current season. The club, in their official list of released players, had stated that the versatile right-back had been offered a new contract along with fellow youth product John Swift. The defender has finally put pen to paper on a 4-year-deal, thus ending speculation regarding his future at the club.
Even though the 19-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance for the Blues, he was heavily linked to a number of top clubs. It was reported by Daily Star (h/t Telegraph), that Scottish Champions Celtic were in for a move for the Chelsea product – in a deal which would’ve seen him being made the highest paid player at Celtic Park.
Arsenal were also reported to be keen on signing the England youth international as a back-up to Hector Bellerin. The report by Mirror claimed Arsenal to be interested in the defender along with other Premier League clubs like West Ham and Everton. It also stated that Aina had attracted interest from Bundesliga clubs Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen alongside Serie A club Napoli.
Congratulations to Chelsea Academy graduate Ola Aina who has signed a new four-year contract… https://t.co/KGnlEqWYy9
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 6, 2016
The speculation has been put to rest as Chelsea announced that the youngster had signed a new contract with the club. Aina spoke to Chelsea TV after signing the deal with the Blues.
“Signing a new deal is always a blessing, especially at a big club like this. I am happy and I need to hit the ground running again.”
“As a player I think I have got better and better because of the level of coaching in the Academy and with the first team and as a person, the whole environment has helped me mature well.”
“The club is close to my heart, they have helped me a lot and I am really thankful for that. It is a good moment for me.”
Ola Aina trained with the first-team for majority of the last season but failed to make his senior debut for the Londoners. The 19-year-old is a versatile right-back who can play both at left back and at the centre of the defense. This quality may come in handy for Chelsea if incoming manager Antonio Conte is to deploy his traditional 3-at-the-back tactic. It will be interesting to see if the Italian boss makes the England U-20 International a part of his plans or if he is loaned out to gain some much needed-first team experience.