(CNN) -- Chelsea named former Nigeria defender Michael Emenalo as the assistant first team coach of the English Premier League side, promoting the 45-year-old from head opposition scout.
Emenalo has been at the London-based club since 2007, after being brought in to the backroom staff by then manager Avram Grant, who he had played under at Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 1990's.
A former Major League Soccer and U.S. college player , Emenalo retired from football in 2000 after a career that also saw him play in Belgium, England and Germany, as well as representing his nation in the 1994 World Cup.
In a statement on their official website Chelsea said that Emenalo's new position at the club reflects the good-work he has done for them over the last three years.
"Michael has been an important part of the first team management structure since his arrival, and his promotion is recognition of his efforts to date," the statement read.
"Michael will continue to oversee the first team scouting operation as he makes the transition to coaching and takes on this bigger and more influential role."
Emenalo replaces former Chelsea player Ray Wilkins, after the Englishman was dismissed from his post by the club on 11 November.
Current first team coach Paul Clement had been previously favored to take over the role.