Chelsea wonderkid delighted with England captaincy

Ola Aina led the England Under-19’s out for their 8-0 victory over Luxembourg on Sunday.

The 17-year-old has played for the Three Lions at every age group up to Under-19, and he capped his eighth cap with his current squad by leading the squad out as captain in their European qualifier against Luxembourg at the Henri Dunant Stadium.

Having been with Chelsea since the Under-11 age group, Aina was a key part of the Blues FA Youth Cup winning side last season, as well as featuring nine times for the Under-21’s in their successful Premier League campaign - despite the four-year age gap between himself and the oldest players in the age-group. He was awarded his first professional contract upon his 17th birthday, and he looks to have an impressive future at both club and international level.

With first choice Under-19’s captain Bryn Morris named on the bench by head coach Sean O’Driscoll, Aina stepped up to the role, and he revealed his delight at being chosen to the official Football Association website.

The young Blues star said: “Sean said he made me captain because I’m a good talker on the pitch. He thought I’d be good for the team and I obviously jumped at the chance.

“The armband was a bit loose, I don’t think my biceps are quite big enough yet! But to captain your country is an amazing feeling.

“I’ve always wanted to captain England so I’m buzzing.”

Aina got off to the best possible start in his first game as captain, as goals from Brandon Baker, Patrick Roberts and Bradley Fewster, as well as strikes from Aina’s Blues teammates Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Charlie Colkett, gave the Young Lions an 8-0 victory, and Aina was pleased to see the team keep up their performance levels, despite the increasingly high score.

He added: “Some games can get too easy and that’s when you start to get sloppy and maybe let teams back into it.

“We had to stay focused and aim for more goals to keep us sharp. We kept the ball and tried to create a chance every time we went forward and that’s what you need to do.

“Sean’s key message to us was that when we lose the ball we had to make sure we won it back. He doesn’t mind if we do lose it, he just wants us to have a good reaction as and when that happens.

“We had to do that a few times against Luxembourg but we did enough when we had the ball to get the win so we’ve got to be happy with that.”

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