Torino of Italy defender, Ola Aina has received another dose of good news this month, following confirmation that his stay at the Italian Serie A club has been sealed into the coming season, with a €10m full transfer from Chelsea of England, megasportsarena.com.
The dark-skinned versatile player, who was this past Saturday named to Nigeria’s final squad list for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, had been on loan at Torino from The Blues last season, but his sterling efforts with The Maroons have now earned him a full transfer.
He made his first-team debut for The Blues in a League Cup win over Bristol Rovers in 2016 having progressed through their academy, where he won two UEFA Youth Leagues and two FA Youth Cups.
The 22-year-old Aina, who broke through the youth ranks at Chelsea and got his first-team debut in 2016, impressed during a year’s loan stint at Torino, making 32 appearances and scoring once, as the team finished seventh in Serie A, but missed a spot in the Europa League qualifiers.
The London-born star renewed his Chelsea contract at the end of last season, signing a deal to keep him at Stamford Bridge through to 2021, but that has been overtaken by developments, as he has now sealed a full deal worth £8.9m (€10m) with Torino.
It means Aina will become the most expensive Nigerian full-back in ever, breaking a record held by former Chelsea star, Celestine Babayaro, who was sold to The Blues by Anderlecht of Belgium for £2.25m in 1997.
Though he is a former England U19 skipper, Aina, who played 30 games to help Torino finish the season seventh on the table, is heading for his first international championship with Nigeria at AFCON 2019.
That would be another boost to his value, which ostensibly would have taken his summer transfer worth even higher, should he perform well and Nigeria win their fourth continental title, but Torino have moved fast to seal a deal with Chelsea before then.
The Turin-based club’s president, Urbano Cairo confirmed as much to Sky Italia, stating that The Maroons have exercised their option to buy Aina, as his current loan deal is set to expire at the end of June.
“We exercised our option to buy Ola Aina, as well as [Christian] Ansaldi and [Koffi] Djidji. Now Torino own all their players. We’ve redeemed Aina for €10m,” Cairo told Football Italia.