Oluwasemilogo Adesewo Ibidapo Ajayi (born 9 November 1993) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defender or defensive midfielder for West Bromwich Albion and the Nigeria national football team also known as the Super Eagles.
Early Life and Career
Born to Nigerian parents, Ajayi began his football career as a youth product of the Charlton Athletic academy. After progressing through the Charlton Athletic ranks, he was offered his first professional contract in January 2012.
In November 2012, Ajayi joined Dartford on a short-term loan for twenty-eight days. Shortly after, he made his Dartford debut, in a 4–0 win over Kingstonian in the FA Trophy and then scored his first goal for the side, in a 3–2 loss against Tamworth. Ajayi played 3 games and scored 1 goal before returning to his parent club in late-December.
After returning to Charlton Athletic, Ajayi played for the reserve side for the rest of the season and helped win the Professional Development League 2. Along the way, he was as an unused substitute in the senior side for a game against Blackpool on 12 January 2013.
Shortly before he was due to make his debut for the Charlton first team, Ajayi caught the eye of Premier League team Arsenal. Ajayi joined the Arsenal Academy on a two-year deal after impressing as a trialist with the club in September 2013.
Ajayi made his Arsenal U21 debut as a trialist against Blackburn Rovers on 30 August 2013, scoring with a header, in a 3–0 win. Ajayi, who first figured for Arsenal’s senior team in a friendly against Boreham Wood, made the Arsenal bench four times during the 2014–15 season. He was an unused substitute in games against Hull City, Stoke City and Newcastle in the Premier League, as well as in the home League Cup defeat by Southampton.
On 30 January 2017, Ajayi signed a loan deal until the end of the 2016–17 season with fellow Championship strugglers Rotherham United. The following day, he made his Rotherham United debut, starting and playing the whole game, in a 2–0 defeat against Nottingham Forest. Several weeks later, on 14 February 2017, he scored his first Rotherham United goal, in a 3–2 defeat against Huddersfield Town. Ajayi was a first-team regular for the rest of the season and made seventeen appearances. On 28 March 2017, Ajayi signed for the club on a permanent deal, to be completed on 1 July 2017. He was part of the side which earned promotion to The Championship after beating Shrewsbury in the play-off final on 27 May 2018.
On 12 April, he won the EFL Championship Player of the Month for March 2019. At the club’s end of season awards for the 2018/19 season, Ajayi won the Away Player Of The Season Award after scoring 8 goals in 49 games in all competitions, and also the Goal of the Season for his long range strike against Leeds United in a 2–1 defeat on 26 January 2019.
Internation | Super Eagles Career
At the end of May 2013, Ajayi was called up to the Nigeria U20 squad for their 2013 Toulon Tournament matches.
After being an unused substitute on Matchday 1 against Mexico U20, Ajayi made his Nigeria U20 debut on 4 June 2013, in a 1–1 draw against Belgium U21. Ajayi went on to make two further appearances in the tournament against Portugal and Brazil. After the tournament ended, Ajayi commented that he was proud to play for the national side.
Ajayi received his first call up to the senior team in August 2018 for 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers, he described it as a “dream” call up. He made his debut against Seychelles in the 2019 Nation cup qualifiers, coming on for the injured Chidozie Awaziem in the 73rd minute.
As of 2021, Semi Ajayi is not yet married and is currently single.
Net Worth and Salary
Semi Ajayi earns £13,000 per week, £676,000 per year playing for West Bromwich Albion as a D (C), DM. Semi Ajayi’s net worth is as of 2021 is estimated at around £2.1 million (net worth estimated in 2021).