Former Super Eagles defender, Michael Emenalo has stepped down from his position as Chelsea technical director after a decade working at Stamford Bridge.
Emenalo arrived at the club in 2007, appointed to the scouting staff by then first-team manager Avram Grant. He was briefly assistant first-team coach to Carlo Ancelotti, replacing Ray Wilkins, a move which drew criticism given his lack of coaching experience, although he has since gained his Uefa Pro Licence.
The former Nigeria international was appointed technical director in July 2011 and has led Chelsea’s scouting and recruitment, including the network of loaned out youngsters.
His additional role as a key adviser and confidante of Blues owner Roman Abramovich sometimes caused consternation among the Chelsea supporters, particularly when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2015 – Emenalo blaming “palpable discord between the players and the manager.”
But during his time at Chelsea, the likes of Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian were brought in from European clubs – although the club also drew flak over expensive flops and a lack of activity in recent windows.
Emenalo said: “This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most talented people in the world of sport over the past 10 years, and I will depart incredibly proud of the achievements we have made.
“I wish Chelsea every success and look forward to following the club’s future triumphs from afar.” Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck added: “Michael has had a tremendous impact on the club over the past 10 years and this is evident in everything we have achieved.