2023 AFCON star Ola Aina reacts as 91-day wait for a Premier League game comes to an end 

Published: March 31, 2024
2023 AFCON star Ola Aina reacts as 91-day wait for a Premier League game comes to an end 

2023 Africa Cup of Nations star Ola Aina returned to action on Saturday as Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw in a Premier League game at the City Ground. 

Saturday, March 30 marked ninety-one days since the Nigeria international last played in the top-flight, before his inclusion in the starting lineup for the visit of the Eagles.

Prior to the clash against Crystal Palace, Aina was sidelined by an injury he suffered during the Africa Cup of Nations. 

Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo revealed how his compatriot Jose Peseiro forced Aina to play through the pain barrier in the Africa Cup of Nations final, potentially aggravating the injury.

Overall, the Chelsea academy product was unavailable for selection for six straight games in all competitions after his return from AFCON duty. 

The versatile fullback came through his comeback game against Crystal Palace unscathed and was replaced with six minutes left on the clock due to tactical reasons. 

In an Instagram post shortly after yesterday's game, Aina expressed his happiness at reuniting with his teammates on the pitch after three months. 

"Good feeling being back," the Nottingham Forest number 43 wrote.

Ola Aina was Nottingham Forest's first signing in the summer of 2023, putting pen to paper on a one-year deal with options for the future. 

Ifeanyi Emmanuel 


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