Rotherham United confirm Chiedozie Ogbene departure as winger moves to Premier League
It had long been expected that the 26-year-old would leave at the end of his contract with a host of Championship clubs including Sheffield Wednesday, Norwich City and Ipswich Town linked to him. Instead, he has been able to move to the top division having caught the eye of the Hatters.
When the Millers returned for pre-season training on Monday they announced Lee Peltier and Sean Morrison had signed new contracts but Ogbene was not mentioned. On Tuesday the seemingly inevitable was confirmed.
Rotherham signed Ogbene from Brentford for an undisclosed fee in 2019 and have had good value out of him since.
Paul Warne largely used the winger at wing-back as the Millers won promotion to the Championship in 2021-22. In the second tier he was used in more advanced roles, often in the centre-forward position he played for his country, and at times later in the campaign out wide as manager Matt Taylor looked to reintroduce wingers.
He contributed nine goals, taking his tally for the club to 14 in 136 appearances in all competitions.
Although born in Nigeria, Ogbene grew up in Ireland, where he started his club career, and chose to represent them. When he made his international debut in 2021, it was as Ireland's first African-born player. He has 15 caps and four goals.
Ogbene's final Rotherham appearance was bitter-sweet, forced off against Middlesbrough with the injury which ruled him out of this summer's European Championship qualifiers, but celebrating at full-time when a 1-0 win booked his club's place in next season's Championship after six seasons yo-yoing between the second and third tiers.
Had Ogbene joined Rotherham’s local rivals Wednesday it would have been a blow after Michael Smith and Michael Ihiekwe remained in League One last season at the end of their New York Stadium contracts.
Meanwhile the Millers have boosted their coaching staff with the arrival of Dan Green from Aston Villa. Green, who worked with Taylor at Exeter City, will take on the job of first-team coach.