We are delighted to confirm that terms have been agreed with Republic of Ireland international Chiedozie Ogbene to join Luton Town from 1st July when his Rotherham United contract ends.
The 26-year-old forward signs for the Hatters after scoring nine goals and assisting four times in all competitions last season as the Millers finished 19th in the Championship.
Nigeria-born Ogbene became the first African player to represent the Republic of Ireland when he earned his first cap in June 2021, and has scored four goals in 15 games for the Boys in Green.
Beginning his professional career in Ireland playing for Cork City and then Limerick, Ogbene moved over to England in 2017 when he signed for Brentford, then in the Championship.
After a quiet debut season for the Bees, Ogbene went on loan to League Two, playing for Exeter City in the 2018-19 season before being recalled to Griffin Park in January 2019.
Ogbene permanently joined Rotherham United in August 2019 and made 136 appearances across his four seasons with the Millers, which included 36 goal involvements, two promotions to the Championship and a Papa Johns Trophy triumph.
Manager Rob Edwards was delighted to land a player who he identified as one of the biggest dangers to his Hatters side ahead of the April trip to Yorkshire, when Town won 2-0 on their way to booking a play-off place.
“Chieo is a really exciting addition and is someone we’ve liked for a while,” said Edwards. “We got to look at him a lot last season in preparing to play against him and his Rotherham team, and in my opinion he was their best and most threatening player.
“We actually did a reasonable amount of work on stopping him as well as part of our game planning, so you know when you are doing that, he should be on a list for possible recruitment.
“We know we are going to need some real athleticism in the Premier League, and he knows how to use it. He’s flexible, and he’s going to be able to play through the middle as a forward, but also as a wide one, if we wanted to play with wide forwards. He can play a couple of positions.
“Chieo also brings experience of top level football. He’s an Irish international and he’s played in some high level games and done well in them, particularly against France who are one of the best nations in the world.
“He’s still at a good age where he’s willing to learn and he’s a fantastic human being, we had a brilliant chat and I just loved his personality.
“He’s humble, he comes from a great family background and he’s had to work extremely hard to get where he is now, to get a crack in the Premier League. He should be really proud of himself and we’re delighted to be able to give him that chance.”
Speaking after completing his medical at The Brache, Ogbene said: “I’m delighted to be here as a Premier League player, because of my journey and where I’ve been in the last five-and-a-half years, from Limerick FC and the League of Ireland to Luton Town FC in the Premier League. My former coach said it would be one in 200,000 – I guess I’m that one!
“My journey is special to me. I come from Rotherham United, who I spent four seasons with and where I achieved some great things with some great people. But to be considered to be a Luton Town player with an opportunity to feature in the Premier League was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
He added: “I’m just excited to be here. To feature in the Premier League is everyone’s dream and I’m really happy for the opportunity.”
Welcome to Kenilworth Road, Chieo!