Super Eagles right-back Ola Aina is set to return to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest.
The Chelsea academy graduate last played in English football's top flight in the 2020/21 season with Fulham when the Cottagers signed him on loan from Serie A side Torino.
Prior to his move to Italy on a permanent basis after an initial loan, he spent a season at Hull City. In the 2023/23 season, he played 19 matches for the Turin-based side.
He now joins the swelling Nigerian contingent at Forest for another stint in English football, having been on Chelsea's books until 2019.
🚨 Ola Aina is set to join Nottingham Forest on a free transfer. The former Torino wing-back is flying into Spain to undergo his medical tonight.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) July 21, 2023
London-born Ola Aina joins Awoniyi, Dennis for two years
Ola Aina has not been involved in the Nigeria national football team since their loss to Algeria in September 2022.
Prior to that match, he was a regular fixture in a number of Super Eagles squads since 2017, to the point of racking up 30 caps. He was the starting right-back for the three-time African champions at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The Super Eagles exited that tournament in the round of 16 after a shocking loss to Tunisia, who they beat in the previous edition to take home the third-place medals. Ola Aina was also a regular fixture in that tournament.
Ola Aina's time at Torino has contributed to his absence from the Super Eagles. A return to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest will see him get back into the full view of the Super Eagles handlers thanks to the presence of star man Taiwo Awoniyi, who they will be watching frequently.
Nottingham Forest getting Ola Aina on a free is such a steal. Dude easily balls out at LB and RB and if my memory serves me right, his best performances for the National Team has even been as an LB. 🔥🌳
— Déz (@dezfootie) July 21, 2023
Aina will be a Tricky Tree for the next two years and will be expected to help Steve Cooper's side solifiy their footing in the Premier League. He will also be hoping that the constant injuries and loss of form which he struggled with in the last two seasons that mostly kept him out of action.
After his two years are up, he has the option of extending his stay for one more year with the club. The option could also be triggered after his first season.
Ola Aina to have medical in Spain ahead of Premier League return
Transfer news insider Fabrizio Romano reports that Aina will have his medicals in Spain ahead of his move to join up with
Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis at Nottingham Forest. He will compete with Ivory Coast international Serge Aurier for the right back spot in order to make Cooper's team more competitive.
🚨Exclusive: Ola Aina reveals that he was in advanced talks to join West Ham⚒️
“When the offer came I was thinking take it! I want to go to West Ham”
🚨FULL PODCAST COMING SOON🚨
— The Beautiful Game Podcast (@Podcast_TBG) July 14, 2023
Aina also comes in as the Tricky First summer signing, which is turning out to be a quiet window compared to the whirlwind of last summer and winter.
The 26-year-old is also an option for left back as he is versatile enough to cover both defensive wings. Forest have lost Renan Lodi to Olympique de Marseille and this could see the former England youth international slot in directly into the now role.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago