Odemwingie grew up in Uzbekistan ( up to 12-years old) and Russia and began his career with Bendel Insurance in the Nigeria Premier League. He then earned a move to European football with Belgian side La Louvière where he spent three seasons winning the Belgian Cup before moving to French side Lille. Odemwingie scored 26 goals for Lille and also playing in the UEFA Champions League with the side, which prompted Lokomotiv Moscow to pay a fee of £10 million for his services in July 2007. He scored 23 times in three-and-a-half years for Lokomotiv before leaving for English side West Bromwich Albion in August 2010. He scored 30 Premier League goals for the Baggies which won him three Premier League Player of the Month awards. A failed move to Queens Park Rangers saw him fall out of favour with Steve Clarke and he was sold to Cardiff City in August 2013 for a fee of £2.25 million. He spent six months at Cardiff before joining Stoke City in a player-exchange with Kenwyne Jones in January 2014.
Odemwingie made his debut for the Nigeria national team in a friendly against Kenya in May 2002 and has represented the country over 60 times, including at two World Cups and four Africa Cup of Nations, as well as winning silver at the 2008 Olympics.
Odemwingie was born in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union to a Nigerian father (Peter Odemwingie Sr.) and a Russian mother (Raisa), both of whom were medical students. He moved with his family to Nigeria when he was two years old before completing his secondary education in Russia. Whilst living in Russia he played in the youth teams at KAMAZ and CSKA Moscow. At the age of 17 he moved back to Nigeria and after spending a short time with amateurs AS Racines Lagos he became a professional with Nigeria Premier League side Bendel Insurance, where he scored 19 goals in 53 league appearances from 2000 to 2002.
Odemwingie had an unsuccessful trial with Anderlecht before he signed for La Louvière in 2002 and made his mark by helping the club to win the Belgian Cup in his first season. This earned La Louvière qualification into the UEFA Cup where they played Portuguese side Benfica, Odemwingie scoring in a 1–1 draw. He had a trial with Blackburn Rovers in August 2004.
Scoring nine goals in 44 appearances attracted the attention of Ligue 1 side Lille and before long he was a starter in the first team. Famous for his technique and pace, the Nigerian player was being monitored by a number of prestigious European clubs. Odemwingie indicated that he wanted to stay at Lille and help them fight for the league the following season and scored five league goals for them in the 2006–07 season as well as one against A.C. Milan at the San Siro to take Lille to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.
On 16 July 2007, he signed for Lokomotiv Moscow for a reported fee of US$14 million on a four-year contract. In three seasons for Lokomotiv, Odemwingie became the driving force of the attack and one of their most important players. During his time at Lokomotiv Stadium, Odemwingie managed 21 goals in the Russian Premier League from 75 games.
West Bromwich Albion
On 20 August 2010 Odemwingie signed for Premier League club West Bromwich Albion for an undisclosed fee on a two-year contract, with the option of a third year in the club’s favour. A day later, he scored the 81st-minute winning goal on his Premier League debut, a 1–0 win against Sunderland. Shortly after signing for West Bromwich Albion, photographs showed Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrating the sale of Odemwingie through the use of racist banners targeted at the player. One banner included the image of a banana and read “Thanks West Brom”. Before West Brom’s game against Tottenham Hotspur in September 2010, it was announced that West Brom fans would unfurl a banner to counter the racist one, the banner read ‘Thanks Lokomotiv’ and is accompanied by a picture of Odemwingie celebrating his winner on his debut against Sunderland. Odemwingie scored again for West Brom as they defeated Arsenal 3–2 at the Emirates Stadium on 25 September 2010. Odemwingie scored a brace for West Brom on 5 December 2010, as they defeated fellow promoted side Newcastle United 3–1 at the Hawthorns.
Odemwingie scored the second goal for West Brom which brought his season tally in the Premier League to 10 goals, only two behind Robert Earnshaw‘s Premier League record for the club. 9 April saw West Brom travel to the Stadium of Light to play Sunderland. Odemwingie continued to impress and scored a goal in the 29th minute to level the scores. His side eventually won 3–2, three points significantly helping his side’s survival hopes. After the game, he announced his desire to keep on playing well for West Brom by aiming to score 15 league goals. On 16 April Odemwingie edged closer to this personal target when he became West Brom’s joint top goalscorer ever in a single season in the Premier League with a goal against Chelsea, bringing his tally to 12. Because of his continued success in his debut season in England, Odemwingie was reportedly targeted by a number of big clubs, including Italian giants Juventus, but Odemwingie dispelled talk of a move, stating that he’s happy at West Brom.
Odemwingie continued his fine form, scoring a lovely curling effort with his left foot in the fifth minute against Tottenham Hotspur. This brought him on to 13 league goals for the season, and meant that he had scored four in his last five games. On 30 April, Odemwingie became the first player in West Brom’s Premier League history to score in four consecutive games. This goal came against Aston Villa and meant he had scored 15 goals thus far in his debut season. It would also contribute to Odemwingie’s second Premier League Player of the Month award of the season. His side faced Everton at the Hawthorns on 14 May and Odemwingie provided an assist for Youssuf Mulumbu to score the only goal of the game. The result put West Brom on 46 points, bolstering their chances of finishing as the Midlands’ highest placed club in the Premier League. Odemwingie ended the 2010–11 Season as West Bromwich Albion’s top goalscorer with 15 league goals.
On 18 August it was announced that Odemwingie had signed a new three-year agreement with West Bromwich Albion, after a £4,000,000 bid from Wigan Athletic was turned down by the club. After some injury setbacks, he scored his first goal of the 2011–12 season away to Norwich City, pouncing on a confusion between Richie De Laet and Declan Rudd. Odemwingie’s second goal of the season came in the Black Country derby, where West Bromwich Albion defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–0. Odemwingie scored a spectacular goal against Blackburn Rovers on 17 December, putting West Brom into a late lead after James Morrison had scored a stunning volley earlier in the half.
The result put West Brom up to 13th in the table heading into the busy Christmas period and gave Odemwingie his third league goal of the season. Odemwingie opened the scoring in the twentieth minute of the Baggies next fixture at Newcastle United, a 3–2 victory, on Tuesday 21 December. The result extended Newcastle’s winless run in the Premier League to 6 games, put West Brom up to 10 and sealed their first victory at Newcastle in the league since 1977. On 12 February, Odemwingie scored his first Premier League hat-trick for the club in a 5–1 victory over Black Country rival Wolverhampton Wanderers. On 25 February he scored 2 goals in a 4–0 win against Sunderland. His performances in the month of February led him to be named the Premier League Player of the Month for the third time in his career.