OLA Aina’s younger brother Jordan may become the next player involved in a tug of war between England and Nigeria after the youngster celebrated his 18th birthday yesterday by making his debut in the UEFA Youth League with Chelsea.
Jordan, a leftback, was given his full European debut this week, when Chelsea’s U19s manager Andrew Myers fielded him in the game against Lille at the club’s Cobham Training Centre. Last season, in the first year of his scholarship with Chelsea, Jordan was not involved in any of the club’s nine European matches as they were beaten by Porto in the 2019 final.
Domestically, however, Jordan, who joined Chelsea as an U9, has forced his way into the team, progressing through the ranks before he made his competitive debut in the U18 Premier League against Norwich City in November 2018. He made 14 appearances for that age group last season, although his appearances have been few and far between in the ongoing campaign with just two showings from a possible 11 league matches.
Ola, Jordan’s older brother, who is now an established Super Eagles fullback, is Chelsea’s all-time record appearance holder in the UEFA Youth League, making 20 appearances for the London club before leaving. Chelsea, who has a good track record of producing youngsters, have Nigerian goalkeepers Prince Adegoke and Kelechi Chibueze, fullback Derrick Abu and midfielder Faustino Anjorin in its youth team.
Meanwhile, Chelsea is also interested in signing highly-rated Norway youth international of Nigerian descent, Bryan Fiabema. Striker Fiabema, 16, will train with Chelsea for 11 days before Christmas and there is a likelihood that he may be signed up if he impressed while in London.
He became the youngest player of Nigerian descent to debut in the Norwegian Tippeligaen when he made his league debut for Tromso against FK Haugesund on July 14, 2019 aged 16 years, four months and 28 days, beating the previous record held by ex-Lillestrom striker Ohi Omoijuanfo of 16 years, nine months and 28 days. Fiabema was once coached by Chelsea legend Erland Johnsen in Norway’s U16 national team set-up.
Described as a physical and pacey centre forward, the 16-year-old inked his first professional contract with Tromso before the start of the 2018 season. During the 2019 campaign, Fiabema was included in Tromso’s matchday squads for league matches three times.