Nigerian international Ola Aina has joined Serie A club Torino on loan shortly after having signed a contract extension with Chelsea, who confirmed the deal on their official website.

The 21-year-old defender joined the West London club in 2007 and steadily rose through the academy ranks but found first-team opportunities hard to come by. All in all, he has only made six appearances for the Blues’ senior squad. This lack of playing time has prompted the London-born rightback to seek minutes on the pitch elsewhere.

Last season, Aina spent a hugely successful spell on loan in the Championship with Hull. He impressed with the Tigers, scoring one goal in 46 appearances as he helped the side avoid relegation and extend their stay in England’s second tier. In the summer, the fullback, who played in various England youth teams before switching allegiance to Nigeria, was reportedly tracked by PSV Eindhoven but will now head to Italy in a bid to continue his progress and gain more experience in a top-flight league.

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“Torino have been following me for some time,” Aina said to the Serie A club’s official website. “I hope to do well; I know this is a club that believes in young players and that is very important.”

The fullback specifically mentioned his defensive game will be boosted with the Turin-based club. “I know I can learn a lot in Italy, above all in terms of positioning and organisation, which are fundamental here,” he added. “I really want to experience this new adventure to the full. Thank you to the Toro for choosing me: now it’s up to me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Despite having just extended his contract with the Blues until 2021 before his loan move to Italy, Chelsea face the prospect of losing the versatile defender on a permanent basis with his loan deal reportedly including a buyout option for Torino worth a reported €8 million.