The 23 year-old defender, who came through Chelsea’s youth academy before moving to Italy, has been a longstanding Fulham target and the newly-promoted side have an agreed a loan deal with an option to make the switch permanent next summer. Aina told FulhamFCTV:
I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this. It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised. There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec and Josh Onomah. I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.
Aina, who can also play at left back, in central defence or in either wide midfield position, was part of Chelsea’s all-conquering under 18 and under 23 sides and made six first-team appearances as the Blues won the 2016/2017 league title. He spent a season on loan with Hull City, before moving to Torino, also initially on loan. He made 30 league appearances as Torino qualified for the Europa League and the Italian side opted to sign him permanently. Aina made 37 league appearances last term as Torino battled successfully against the drop.
Having represented England at youth level, Aina was offered the opportunity to play for Nigeria, the birthplace of his parents, and has now made fourteen senior international appearances. He missed on the 2018 World Cup squad narrowly, but was part of the Nigeria side that finished third at Africa Cup of Nations last year.
Fulham’s vice chairman and director of football operations, Tony Khan said:
I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Ola Aina to Fulham on loan from Torino. Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League. In our loan agreement, we’ve secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the club given our belief in Ola’s talent and in his potential.
Fulham are set to complete the signing of Torino right back Ola Aina on a season-long loan deal, according to reports from Italy this evening.
The Nigerian international has spent the last two seasons with Torino but was not thought to be in the plans of new manager Marco Giampaolo. Aina has made 69 appearances for La Granata and was their regular right back as they finished sixteenth in Serie A last season. The 23 year-old is thought to be keen on a return to London, having come through the Chelsea academy as a youngster.
Fulham are thought to be paying just over £2m to loan Aina for the season, with an option to make the deal permanent for around £11m. The Italian press are also reporting that Torino will be due ten per cent of any future transfer fee that Fulham receive for Aina’s services. He is expected to fly to London tomorrow to begin a medical, with a view to being able to feature in the newly-promoted side’s first game of the season against Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime.
The capture of Aina, who spent a season on loan at Hull City alongside current Fulham centre back Michael Hector, would conclude Fulham’s summer-long search for a new right back, which is understood to have been one of Scott Parker’s biggest priorities after the Whites won promotion to the Premier League.
Fulham are in discussions with Torino over a potential loan move for defender Ola Aina, according to a report from Sky Sports.
The Nigerian right back, who came through Chelsea’s youth academy and was part of the side that won back-to-back doubles at youth level as well as the U21 Premier League in 2014, joined the Italian side for around £9m last June after a successful loan spell. The 23 year-old has made 69 appearances in total for La Granata and was a regular as they battled successfully against the drop last season.
Aina, who made three first-team appearances for Chelsea under Antonio Conte, spent a season on loan with Hull City, making 46 appearances for the Tigers in their 2017/2018 campaign. He has won fourteen senior caps for Nigeria, narrowly missing out on their World Cup squad in 2018, but has featured regularly since that disappointment.
Fulham are known to be seeking reinforcements in the right back position ahead of the start of their Premier League campaign, with Steven Sessegnon set to follow Marlon Fossey in making a loan move to gain regular first-team football. Scott Parker is keen to add further competition for Denis Odoi and Cyrus Christie, both of whom struggled as Fulham conceded 81 goals on their way to an immediate return to the Championship when they were last in the top flight in 2019.
Roy Hodgson was quick to lay down the law after seeing his Fulham side surrender a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Torino at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Summer signings Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera looked to have done enough to hand The Cottagers a welcome fillip ahead of the new season.
However, the hosts were wasteful in the second period and eventually paid the price as their Italian visitors fought back to earn a draw.
Hodgson, usually the model of calm, was in no mood for niceties after the game.
“We threw the game away,” he said. “We dominated from start to finish and never looked like conceding.
“It is a poor result which has come as a result of not following the type of play we want to see and players deciding it is all too easy and playing how they wanted to.
“I was anxious to win today. I didn’t want to gift our opponents anything and that’s what we have done. People use the word ‘disappointed’ too much these days. I’m not disappointed, I’m very angry about it.
“The positive today was that we created chances and lot of opportunities. But they were wasted by people shooting from 35 yards when we had people in better positions.
“We got in good situations time and time again you have to make the right decision. We had two good finishes first half but could have had more. But in the second half our game was too individual.”
It may have only been a friendly, but Roy Hodgson’s scowl at the end told you all you needed to do. The wily old fox who conjured up arguably the biggest miracle of his extraordinary managerial career last season was far from happy. His revamped Fulham side looked to have put together the perfect warm-up for next weekend’s big kick off at Hull City by establishing a two-goal lead through first half goals from Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera, but surrendered in with some dreadful defending in the final ten minutes. Elvis Abbruscato and Angelo Ogbonna brought the Serie A level – and left Hodgson fuming.
There had been much to like about Fulham’s play for most of this contest. Andy Johnson had a watching brief after being introduced to the Craven Cottage crowd before kick off, but chances were far and far between in a cagey opening period. Nicolas Amoruso fashioned the best opening with an instinctive turn and shot that flashed just wide of Mark Schwarzer’s far post.
Bobby Zamora, showing signs of real form during pre-season, offered more evidence of his finishing ability by clinically converted his first chance on 20 minutes. Seol Ki-Hyeon made the goal with a cutback from the right flank and his strike partner Zamora found the far corner after a turn and shot that matched Amoruso’s earlier effort for athleticism and execution.
Schwarzer was called into action to make a stunning reaction save to deny Aimo Diana after the Torino full-back had rifled towards the top corner at the end of a rampaging run and one-two that had unlocked the Fulham defence. Hangeland then needed to slide across the six-yard box to prevent Simone Barone from equalising and the hosts punished the Italians in the harshest manner possible from their next attack.
Hungarian midfielder Zoltan Gera doubled the lead with a lovely left-footed drive after he ghosted onto a lovely cross from Paul Konchesky. Seol had done brilliantly to link up with the left back having rescued a lost cause down the right and the Korean’s industry was appropriately rewarded by Gera’s unerring finish. Fulham’s two-goal half time advantage probably flattered the home side and Torino were sent out early for the second period by an unhappy Gianni De Biasi.
The Italians almost created an equaliser in the very first minute after the restart but Jurgen Samnuel’s snapshot was bravely blocked by summer signing Fredrik Stoor, who had just replaced John Pantsil at right back. Fulham went straight up the other end and won a free-kick when Zamora was crudely taken out from behind. Bullard’s low effort almost deceived Matteo Sereni, but the goalkeeper improvised to block with his right foot.
Alessandro Rosina tried to reply in kind with a Torino free-kick from 25 yards but he blazed high into the Putney End. There was a much more frenetic tempo to the second half, with Bullard drawing a couple of smart saves from Sereni, who also gathered a Zamora curler from 25 yards. Amoroso then headed against the far post from Dominique Malonga’s cross with Schwarzer beaten, whilst at the other end Steven Davis somehow saw two shots scrambled off the line straight after each other.
Torino kept throwing bodies forward and built a route back in the contest with ten minutes to play when substitute Abbruscato lashed a left-footed volley past a helpless Schwarzer after latching onto a through ball that had caught the Fulham rearguard horribly square. The hosts’ attempt at keep ball outside the Torino area then went horribly wrong when Zamora and Stoor misread each other’s intentions. Il Toro broke rapidly up field and Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected drive gave them a share of the spoils.