According to a recent report by Calcio Mercato, West Ham United’s reported summer target Ola Aina, could now be available for a cut-price fee in the region of just €10m during the upcoming transfer window.
Although a report from Gazzetta Dello Sport last week suggested that the Hammers and Everton were both interested in the full-back, an €18m transfer fee was being touted. The new report though, clarifies that the Torino chiefs are looking to simply recuperate what they paid Chelsea to acquire him back in the summer of 2019.
What Is Aina’s Legacy In The Premier League?
The Nigerian international was a member of the Chelsea academy since the summer of 2007, and it’s safe to say that he was one of the Blues’ brightest young prospects a few years ago. While names like Mason Mount, Reece James and even Callum Hudson-Odoi have managed to find their way into the first-team successfully, unfortunately for Aina, he decided to leave Chelsea at the worst possible time.
During his stint at Stamford Bridge though, the Nigerian was always extremely highly-rated, and it’s perhaps not overly surprising that he was promoted to the first-team as a teenager back in the summer of 2016. Loan spells at Hull City and then Torino certainly helped in his development. Still, the opportunity of a permanent move away and the promise of regular playing time was too much for the full-back to pass up on last summer.
The 23-year-old played in 52 fixtures for the Chelsea U-23 squad, while he featured 46 times for Hull City during the loan spell away from West London as well. The biggest frustration for Aina will obviously be the fact that despite his long career at Stamford Bridge, the Nigerian international was only every able to pick up six first-team appearances, that too without a single meaningful contribution to show for his efforts. While that would’ve been hard to take, what’s fantastic is that the Nigerian has already played 57 times for Torino, and even has a goal to his name.
What Holes Would Aina Fill In This West Ham Squad?
Finding a replacement for 35-year-old former Manchester City veteran Pablo Zabaleta is sure to be one of David Moyes’ priorities for the summer. Truthfully, depending entirely on Ryan Fredericks to perform in that role could be a disaster waiting to happen. The addition of a more youthful name like Ola Aina would give Moyes more options in the attacking sense, and would also add something fresh to the Hammers’ back-line.
Is This A Move That West Ham Should Look To Make?
The sheer fact that the Nigerian international survived at a competitive club like Chelsea for more than ten years showcases the quality that he’s got, and it’s not surprising that former Blues coach Carlo Ancelotti is also interested in his signature. With Zabaleta now 35 and his retirement imminent, it would be smart on the Hammers’ part to look for a new full-back. With a defender with prior Premier League experience available to them at a cut-price fee, it’d be silly for David Moyes not to get this deal done in the summer.
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