AS Torino of Italy defender, Ola Aina has been contacted to make himself available for a summer transfer to Fulham of England, which would enable them take their romance with Nigerian players to another level, megasportsarena.com reports.
While his younger brother, Jordan Aina is trying to find his way into The Cottagers’ mainframe and join their array of Nigerian-born players in the club’s youth sector, the Super Eagles’ full-back is now being considered for a move to Craven Cottage as well.
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalist, who is largely remembered for his back heel assist for Odion Jude Ighalo in Nigeria’s opening match of that competition, could be on his way to joining former Chelsea of England youth team striker, Timmy Abraham as well as the duo of Sylvester Jasper and Michael Olakigbe, who are all on course to line out for the London-based club at various levels in the upcoming campaign.
While Jasper and Olakigbe continue growing through the ranks at Craven Cottage, Jordan Aina has now become the latest Nigerian lad to stir up memories of the club’s strong tradition with players from his father’s country, as he is currently on trial with The Cottagers.
The Cottagers’ Nigerian tradition includes days of yore with Dickson Paul Etuhu as well as of recent with Omatsone ‘Sone’ Aluko and Ola Aina, whose younger brother, Jordan, is now one of three players currently seeking new lease of life the club this season.
Incidentally, Fulham had also initially been in the running to snatch Eberechi Eze from Queens Park Rangers, before he eventually joined Crystal Palace last week, but the English Premier League side have now turned their attention fully on two Nigerian-born rookies and Aina, who appears on course to seal a transfer to the London-based club this weekend.
Jordan Aina has stepped up his efforts to seal a deal at Craven Cottage, as he came through with flying colours in a test match for the club’s under-23 squad’s second pre-season friendly, with rave reviews trailing his efforts, though he could not save them from losing the game 2-0 against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The younger Aina was named to The Cottagers’ starting line-up for the second consecutive pre-season game; having earlier helped the team to a 5-0 mauling of Reading last Saturday, as the youngster seeks to get a new club, after coming to the end of his contract with Chelsea, where he spent close to a decade with the team he joined before his ninth birthday.
Ola Aina may now get a good look in as well at Fulham, as the club’s under-23 side are currently handled by a Nigerian coach, Colin Omogbehin, who worked with former Super Eagles’ winger, Victor Moses at Crystal Palace, while another youngster, Michael Olakigbe has accepted to put pen on a scholarship deal with The Cottagers.
The report out of Queensland adds that Fulham hope to get this month Aina on loan from Torino, who signed him for 10m Euro from Chelsea last summer, after he had an initial spell on loan from The Blues and excelled within that period in Turin.
However, the 23-year-old dark-skinned defender, who signed a five-year contract when he made the switch from London to Turin, did not fare much last season, in which he made 32 league appearances.
With that lull in view, Aina is said to be keen on a return to England, such that he could jolly well jump at the prospect of joining Fulham, who are back in the English top-flight ahead of the new campaign, after spending a single season in the lower cadre Championship.