Recently, youngster Dominic Solanke made headlines by letting his Chelsea contract expire and leaving for supposedly greener, more youth-friendly pastures. Fellow academy graduate Ola Aina looked set to do the very same thing last summer (and was linked with Liverpool as well) but signed a new deal at the eleventh hour, keeping him at Chelsea till 2020.
He then joined the first-team for the pre-season tours and featured heavily, winning his spot in the first-team and showing lots of promise as a potential replacement for Branislav Ivanovic. He remained part of the first-team throughout of the season but featured sparingly, making just six appearances as Antonio Conte seemed to prefer the likes of Pedro and César Azpilicueta as back-ups for the right wing-back position. That wasn’t exactly ideal for Aina, who would greatly benefit from a season out on loan.
Multiple sources claim that Leonid Slutsky, a friend of Roman Abramovich, who took charge at the relegated Hull City last month is looking to sign Aina on a season-long loan.
Since their relegation, Hull’s defence has been decimated by the departures of Harry Maguire, Curtis Davies, Alex Bruce and Andrea Ranocchia. Their depth in either full-back position is almost non-existent. Left-backs Andrew Robertson and Josh Tymon have been been linked with Premier League moves and have one foot out of the door. Right back Moses Odubajo, who spent the whole of last season out injured, has suffered a further setback, while fellow right backs Omar Elabdellaoui and Brian Lenihan are leaving or have already left. Ahmed Elmohamedy can play right-back, but he is primarily a midfielder.
Given Ola’s versatility — he can play all across defence and as a wing-back on either side of the pitch — and Hull’s once again brewing player shortage, this move could do him a world of good. In all probability, he won’t be the only player to be loaned from Chelsea to Hull either.