In a move that seems to have been in the works for almost a month, Chelsea defender Olaoluwa Aina will spend the coming season on loan at Hull City.
Ever since the appointment of ex-CSKA Moscow and Russian National Team coach Leonid Slutsky, who is a good friend of Roman Abramovich, stories of various prospective loan transactions between Hull and Chelsea have emerged. Slutsky himself has claimed multiple times that he’d be willing to use his Chelsea connections to sign a few players on loan to help bolster his diminished squad. Ola Aina, who spent last season with the first-team after signing a new contract and made six appearances in all competitions, has turned out to be the first such player (and also Slutsky’s first signing of the summer).
Aina can play all across defence and has played wing-back on either side for Chelsea as well, which should make him a valuable asset to the Hull defence that has already lost center-backs Alex Bruce, Curties Davies, Andrea Ranocchia and Harry Maguire, and full backs Josh Tymon, Moses Odubajo (to injury), and possibly both Andrew Robertson and Ahmed Elmohamedy as well.
Aina is understandably raring to go ahead of his first loan assignment, and had the following to say after putting pen to paper.
"I'm very excited to be here and it is the start of a new chapter in my career.
"It's my first loan move away from Chelsea and I just want to hit the ground running. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of my new team-mates during the training camp in Portugal."
- Olaoluwa Aina; source: Hull City
Good luck, Ola! Do us proud.