After his sensational resignation from Chelsea last month, Nigeria’s former international, Michael Emenalo, has joined Monaco as the club’s new sports director, the French side confirmed Monday.
It was already rumoured at the time of his departure that Emenalo was destined for the principality.
Emenalo spent 10 years at the Bridge, where he rose to become one of the most powerful people in the team hierarchy and in an interview on the Monaco website, Emenalo said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for me in a high-quality project.
“AS Monaco has shown great progress for several seasons and I am convinced that the future will be just as ambitious.”
Emenalo is effectively swapping one billionaire for another as Monaco is owned by Dmitry Rybolovlev.
Emenalo added: “Vadim Vasilyev’s [Executive vice-president] willingness to see me join AS Monaco was decisive and, for me, the choice was natural after my decision to leave Chelsea.”
For Vasilyev, it was a coup to get Emenalo, who was responsible for turning the Chelsea Academy into one of the best in the world.
“I am very happy to be able to count on him in Monaco. I invested a lot in his appointment.
“His know-how in detection and recruitment, as well as the technical experience acquired in one of the most successful clubs in recent years, are the reasons that led us to present this ambitious challenge.
“This appointment is another sign of our ambition and our desire to be as competitive as possible.
It seems Emenalo is going to get the chance to showcase his knack for unearthing teenage gems as Monaco thrive on unearthing and then selling to the highest bidder, with no pressure to win Ligue 1 every season or the UEFA Champions League.