Ola Aina has been speaking about the learning curve he has been on with the Tigers.
Aina’s season-long loan from Chelsea will come to an end after Sunday’s away game against Brentford and he’s given an insight into how the last few months have changed him on and off the pitch.
“It’s been my first loan and it has been enjoyable, even though it has been a difficult season at times,” said Aina.
“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.”
Aina will return to Chelsea having added a further 40+ senior appearances to his career tally and will wait to find out what the next step may be after potential World Cup appearances with Nigeria this summer.
“Chelsea is a big club and they have a lot more to focus on than just me,” continued the 21-year-old.
“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.”