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Aina at 24: NFF, Fulham hail Super Eagles star

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Thu, 8 Oct 2020 Source: www.mynigeria.com

Nigerian defender, Ola Aina turns 24 today. To mark the day, fans and well wishers have sent in congratulatory messages through the various social media platforms.

The Nigeria Football Federation and English Premier League club, Fulham also extended their warm birthday wish.

Fulham and the NFF sent their birthday wishes via Twitter.

The NFF wrote: "Mr Lulu is 24 today. Happy birthday @Aina2Ola.”

And according to Fulham: "Happy birthday, @Aina2Ola!”

Aina is currently with the Eagles in Austria ahead of the friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia.

Aina signed for Chelsea as an under-11 and made his youth team debut as a schoolboy in the 2012–13 season and went on to start in both legs of the semi-final and final of the FA Youth Cup, Complete Sports said.

Aina made his first-team debut for Chelsea in a pre-season friendly against AFC Wimbledon, after Todd Kane’s injury. Aina started the match and was substituted at half-time for Branislav Ivanovi? as Chelsea went on to win 3–2.

Before the 2015–16 season, he was included in the pre-season tour, playing three matches in the International Champions Cup. After impressing Chelsea manager José Mourinho, Aina was included in the first-team squad for the campaign. 

Although he spent the entire season training full-time with the first-team, he continued his role in the under-21s and under-19s sides.  

On 23 September 2015, Aina was included in the match-day squad against Walsall in the fourth round of the League Cup, although he was an unused substitute, according to Complete Sports.

Due to a lack of first-team opportunities, Aina refused a new contract despite his current contact ending at the end of the season. 

On 11 June 2019, Torino triggered Aina’s option to permanently transfer from Chelsea for a reported fee of £9 million. 

He was a regular again during his second season in Turin, playing 37 times in all competitions.

In September Aina returned to the Premier League, signing for Fulham on an initial season-long loan with an option to make the deal permanent.

In May 2017, Aina pledged his international future to Nigeria and obtained a Nigerian passport in preparation to making the switch from England to Nigeria.In the same month, he was called up for the first time to play for Nigeria.

He was named in Nigeria’s preliminary 30 man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.However, he did not make the final 23.

 

He was later recalled into the squad and played a major role in the team’s qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt where they won the bronze.

Source: www.mynigeria.com