Ola Aina: Super Eagles Defender Links Up With Awoniyi, Dennis At Notthingham Forest

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English born Super Eagles Defender Olaoluwa Olufisayo Aina has completed a move to English premiership side Nottingham Forest on a one year deal.

“Nottingham Forest is delighted to announce the signing of defender Ola Aina”, an official statement from Nottingham Forest reads.

The Nigeria international has put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal to become Forest’s first signing of the summer, with options for the future also agreed in the contract.

An athletic and versatile defender, Aina joins Forest following his recent departure from Torino, having previously spent nearly five years with the Italian side and making 102 appearances in Serie A.

Aina, who played for England at every age group from under-16 to under-20, has earned 30 international caps for Nigeria since pledging allegiance to the Super Eagles in 2017.

Born in London, the former Chelsea academy graduate joined the Blues at under-11 level, progressing through the ranks at Stamford Bridge and winning two FA Youth Cups, two UEFA Youth League titles and a U21 Premier League title as a youngster.

Having made his professional debut for Chelsea in August 2016, Aina would depart Stamford Bridge for Italy in 2019, before making a return to the Premier League with a loan move to Fulham during the 2020/21 campaign.

The 26-year-old played 33 times for Fulham during a campaign which saw him be shortlisted for the Premier League Goal of the Season Award following a spectacular strike against West Bromwich Albion.

Following a five-year spell in Turin, making 113 appearances across all competitions, Aina now returns to England as Forest’s preparations for the new Premier League campaign continue.

Ola Aina said: “I’m very excited to be here and I can’t wait to get started.

“I wanted to be back on English soil again and Forest is a club which has an exciting project and team.

“The manager as well, what he wants from the team is something which I want to buy into. He’s told me it’s a family club, he’s told me we have a great bunch of players and he’s told me I’ll enjoy it here.”

“It’s exciting to be back playing in the Premier League. It’s the best league in the world and I always want to challenge myself.

“I know some of the boys well already which is good for me, but I’m excited to meet the rest of my teammates and get to know everyone.

“I saw Forest in action last season and the fans are as loud as can be throughout the whole game, which is something I’m relishing and can’t wait to experience. I can’t wait for it.”

Nottingham Forest Head Coach, Steve Cooper, said: “We’re really pleased that Ola has joined us.

“He’s a versatile player who has good experience of the Premier League and Serie A. He’s a really good player, but a good athlete as well.

“He’ll definitely make the team stronger and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Chief Football Officer, Ross Wilson, added: “We are pleased to welcome Ola to Forest.

“In the discussions that Steve and I have had with him we can see how excited he is to join Forest and return to the Premier League after enjoying his time outside of England in Serie A.”

He will link up with his Super Eagles teammates Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis at the club.

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