Emenalo: Chelsea should be proud of their loan system

Exclusive: Michael Emenalo quits Chelsea in major blow to Roman Abramovich

Exclusive: Michael Emenalo quits Chelsea in major blow to Roman Abramovich

While speculation has been raging over the future of head coach Antonio Conte, Emenalo has chose to bring his 10-year association with the club to an end.

The 52-year-old, who played for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup, joined Chelsea in 2007 under Avram Grant, for whom he played at Maccabi Tel Aviv.

"This has been a very hard decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club", Emenalo said in a statement.

'I wish Chelsea every success and look forward to following the club's future triumphs from afar'.

Head coach Antonio Conte's expressions of frustration at Chelsea's summer recruitment, plus some indifferent results, had led to speculation over his future but Conte and Emenalo had a good working relationship and the Italian said he was sorry to see him leave the club.

Emenalo cited a desire to spend more time with his young family as his reason for leaving after ten years in a variety of roles at Chelsea, but is also understood to have grown tired of the various power struggles and internal conflicts at the club.

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Emenalo watched Chelsea beat title rivals Manchester United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon - sitting behind the Blues' dugout.

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And senior Blues sources say it was no surprise to them that Emenalo stood down as the former Notts County defender, who played at the 1994 World Cup in the U.S., had made it clear to Chelsea as far back as the summer that he was considering his future and he is understood to want to spend some time with his family before making any decision over his next challenge.

Conte was the 10th manager appointed during Emenalo's time in west London and the former has been highly critical of Chelsea's transfer activity this summer.

Chelsea have been criticised in the past for their policy of signing up young and promising players before sending them out of loan for extended periods.

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