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Semi Ajayi: West Bromwich Albion extend Nigeria defender's contract

3:43 AM EDT 5/17/22
West Brom and Nigeria defender Semi Ajayi.
The 28-year-old Super Eagle will remain at the Hawthorns after agreeing to a new extension ahead of the upcoming campaign

EFL Championship side West Bromwich Albion have reached an agreement to extend the contract of defender Semi Ajayi.

The 28-year-old Nigeria international, who signed for the Baggies from Rotherham United three years ago, has penned a contract extension that will see him stay at the club until 2025.

“Semi Ajayi has signed a contract extension which keeps him at The Hawthorns until the summer of 2025,” the club confirmed on their official website.

“The Albion defender has made 110 appearances in all competitions since joining from Rotherham United in 2019, scoring nine goals.

“Ajayi, who helped the Baggies win promotion to the Premier League in his first season at the club, made 31EFL Championship appearances during the 2021-22 campaign, while also representing Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.”

Speaking after signing the deal, Ajayi explained why Albion always “feels like home.”

“Honestly, this club feels like home to me,” said Ajayi. “I’m really, really pleased to secure my future here at this football club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, through the highs and the lows, and I’m excited about the future.”

Ajayi further revealed what prompted him to extend his stay and his focus to help Albion secure promotion to the Premier League next season.

“The talks have been going on for a very long time so I’m glad we’ve finally got it all sorted,” Ajayi continued. “I can now look forward to next season and doing my best to try and help this club get back to the Premier League.

“It still feels like yesterday when I signed, but I’ve always felt so welcome here and I’ve got a really good relationship with the supporters. They’ve always been really supportive of me and they’re always taking the time to wish me well.”

Albion manager Steve Bruce expressed his delight at securing the services of the player and described his renewal as a key moment for the club.

“I’m absolutely delighted Semi has committed his future to us,” said Bruce. “He’s arguably been our best player since I arrived at the club back in February, and I believe he has all the attributes needed to be a Premier League defender.

“This signing is key for us in terms of what we want to do next season and the rebuild which needs to happen. Semi is a crucial player in our team and I’m delighted he’s extended his stay.”

Ajayi, who also played for Arsenal in the Premier League, has managed 15 caps for the Super Eagles since he made his debut against Seychelles in the 2019 Nation Cup qualifiers, coming on for the injured Chidozie Awaziem in the 73rd minute.