Chelsea appoints Seyi Olofinjana to talent management role in Africa

Chelsea FC have appointed Seyi Olofinjana to a talent management role focused on Africa. The new role involves recruitment recommendations across the continent, working alongside a newly-appointed scout dedicated to Africa.

Olofinjana, 44, is also the executive director of Imperial FC in Nigeria’s third division. He has been instrumental in developing and procuring football talents in Nigeria, including Taiwo Awoniyi, who joined Liverpool in 2015 and now plays for Nottingham Forest.

This appointment is part of Chelsea’s strategy to identify and nurture talent earlier in their careers. Over the past two decades, several African players such as Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, and Mikel John Obi have achieved significant success at Chelsea. However, most were signed after transitioning to European clubs.

Chelsea appoint Seyi Olofinjana

44-year-old Olofinjana — capped 56 times by his country — played 147 matches and scored 18 goals for Wolverhampton Wanderers between 2004 and 2008 in addition to spells at then fellow Championship sides Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday. The former midfielder also played in the Premier League with Stoke City and Hull City.

After retiring in 2014 after a short stint in Norway, Olofinjana worked in under-23 coaching and development at Wolves including a role as loans and pathways manager. He then spent a year as Sporting Director at Grasshoppers Zurich in Switzerland until 2022. The former midfielder holds a UEFA pro coaching license

Chelsea’s new initiative aims to discover and develop talent directly from Africa, enhancing the club’s ability to procure promising players early in their football journeys.

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