‘I have developed as a player’ – Departing Ola Aina reflects on Hull City spell

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The Nigeria international’s temporary stay with the Tigers will come to an end on Sunday and the defender is delighted with the time spent at the club

Ola Aina has reflected on his loan move to Hull City from Chelsea, saying his stay at the Tigers have helped develop him as a player.

The wing-back joined the English Championship side from the Blues last summer in a bid to enjoy regular playing time. And he has featured in 45 games across all competitions.

The defender played a key role as Nigel Adkins’ men escaped relegation to the third tier, helping them keep 12 clean sheets.

On Sunday, the 21-year-old will play his last game for the KCOM Stadium outfit against Brentford at Griffin Park and he is thrilled with the opportunity afforded him which has helped to improve his game.

 “It’s been my first loan and it has been enjoyable, even though it has been a difficult season at times,” Aina told club website.

“I’ve certainly enjoyed playing regular first team football and being part of the squad here. I think I have developed as a player over the season and I feel as though I have matured both on and off the field.

“I’ve always been able to look after myself but being away from home, away from my parents and my siblings, has probably been good for me in terms of maturing and it has all been a part of this experience here.

“Having Fik (Fikayo Tomori) and Hec (Michael Hector) here has probably also been a help, but even if they weren’t here I think I would still have been okay because of the way things are set-up here.

“On the field I have learnt a lot as well – it’s certainly not U23s football anymore. You’re learning how to judge games and when and where to do things.

“In the early stages of the season I was probably doing things in the wrong areas of the pitch. As the season has gone on, I’ve realised that sometimes it’s not a bad thing to just put your foot through the ball and clear it.

“That’s not necessarily the way we’ve been coached coming up through the youth teams, you’re taught to play your way out, but sometimes putting your foot through it is the best thing in men’s football.”

Ola Aina ps

Although the defender is uncertain of his future at Chelsea, he is hoping to get a chance to prove himself in the first team on his return.

“Chelsea is a big club and they have a lot more to focus on than just me,” he continued.

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“They have a lot of other players out on loan, as well as the players currently there. For me personally, I’m working hard towards the dream of playing for Chelsea because they are the club that I have always supported, long before I was scouted by them.

“We don’t know what the future holds, but Hull City has been my bread and butter this season and all I want is for us to finish strongly at the weekend.”

 

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