Olofinjana at Chelsea and Other Nigerians Who Recently Got Big Roles at European Clubs

Olofinjana at Chelsea and Other Nigerians Who Recently Got Big Roles at European Clubs

  • Former Nigerian international Seyi Olofinjana has been appointed as part of Chelsea's talent management in Africa
  • The Blues have been focused on the recruitment of top talents around the world since Todd Boehly and co took over
  • A Former Wolverhampton Wanderers player is not the only Nigerian to have secured big roles in Europe recently

Former Nigerian footballers have been taking up big roles in Europe recently, one of which is ex-international Seyi Olofinjana, who has joined Chelsea as a talent manager.

He took up an administrative role at the London club, while two others, Lukas Babalola and Sone Aluko, took up backroom staff roles at English and Dutch clubs.

Sone Aluko playing for Ipswich Town against Wolves' Boubacar Traore in the Carabao Cup.
Sone Aluko announced his professional retirement after helping Ipswich Town gain promotion to the Premier League. Photo by Alex Pantling.
Source: Getty Images

Legit.ng analyses the three Nigerians who have recently been appointed by European clubs.

Nigerians in big roles at European clubs

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1. Seyi Olofinjana

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According to The Athletic, Olofinjana will work in Chelsea's talent manager department, covering Africa. The club, under Todd Boehly, aims to build an extensive network of talents globally.

Since retiring in 2021, the former Crown FC midfielder has worked in boardroom roles. He was the former loans and pathways manager at Wolves and spent a year as FC Zurich Sporting director before leaving in June 2022.

He founded and controls Imperial FC, which plays in Nigeria's Nationwide League, the country's third-tier league. Nottingham Forest forward Taiwo Awoniyi came through the academy.

2. Sone Aluko

The England-born Nigerian forward announced his retirement from professional football after helping Ipswich Town gain promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 22 years.

The club confirmed in an official statement that he immediately took up a first-team coach role at the same club and will work under former Manchester United assistant manager Kieran McKenna.

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Aluko played seven times for the Super Eagles of Nigeria after representing England at all youth levels. Due to injury, he narrowly missed out on the triumphant AFCON 2013 squad.

3. Lukas Babalola

Babalola did not have a playing career and had begun working to become a coach when he was 16. He joined the Holbaek youth team as a coach in his first role and had multiple roles across clubs in Denmark as a match analyst.

He landed his first assistant coach role at Sparta Prague on January 1, 2024, under Brian Priske and moved with the same manager when he replaced Liverpool-bound Arne Slot at Feyenoord.

He was born in Denmark to parents of Nigerian descent and has a big future ahead of him in coaching.

Chelsea appoint African scouts

Legit.ng reported that English Premier League club Chelsea hired two African scouts to cover their expansive network of talent management globally.

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Nigeria’s Seyi Olofinjana will support chief scout and Ghanaian talent manager Achirou Gaoh in overseeing the club's youth-driven development in Africa.

Source: Legit.ng

Elijah Odetokun avatar

Elijah Odetokun (Sports Editor) Elijah Odetokun is a Nigerian sports editor at Legit NG. He has four years of working experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria (August 2020 - September 2020), OmaSports (December 2020 - June 2021), El Futbolero (July 2021; September 2021- November 2021), and Sports Brief (November 2022 - July 2024). He is a press conference and interview specialist and has attended trainings held by Reuters, AIPS, and FIJ. He holds a Bachelor of Agriculture (2021) from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Reach me via elijah.odetokun@sportsbrief.com