When Kenneth Omeruo spoke of his future in June, I was hoping he would leave Chelsea permanently.
He had said “there are offers but we need to study which will be best for my future.”
However, the best the player arrived at is putting pen to paper on a new three-year-deal which will see him remain at the English champions till 2020, and afterward loaned to Turkish club Kasımpaşa Spor Kulübü. Laconically put, Kasımpaşa. One of the four clubs that have previously offered him abode-spending the 2015/16 season with Kasımpaşa, featuring 25 times.
The loan deal had an option to buy, quite unfortunate Kasımpaşa lacked the legal tender required and decided to pass on the option.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 25, 2017
The tall and strong central defender might have made his choice out of fear of losing his place in the national team. In fact on a closer look, he has lost his place. New boys were preferred to him in Nigeria’s 2-0 home loss to Bafana Bafana of South Africa in 2019 AFCON qualifier.
Few can say he would have made a difference had he played- he cut a detestable figure in 2-2 draw against same opponents 2 years ago- a result which dashed Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea. Furthermore, he is placed among six others on standby in a list of players for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying duels against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
Omeruo has racked up 31 caps for Nigeria national team, including playing in all of Nigeria’s matches at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as Nigeria went on to win the competition, all three Nigeria’s group matches at 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup and all Four matches at the World Cup in Brazil where Nigeria finished second in their group and were eliminated by France at the Round of 16.
In pool of football players, he can raise his hand when achievers are called. However, Kenneth would have been better off if he had left Chelsea permanently.
He should’ve taken a leaf out of Nathaniel Chalobah’s book who took bold decision by rejecting the deal offered to him by Chelsea, the club he joined at age 10 and moved permanently to Watford (one of the six clubs where he had loan spell).
He must have considered his chances to playing regularly at Watford, playing for his future, a feeling completely different from hoping to make the team when he returns to Chelsea.
The energetic and powerful midfielder has played in all Marco Silva’s side’s three league games of the season. He also has received his first ever England call-up. He has given himself identity.
“It’s a very huge step in my career and I will grab it with both hands, I will continue to work hard until I fulfill my dream to play for a massive club like Chelsea.” Omeruo said after signing for the Blues in 2012.
He has since yet to play a competitive game for the Blues, and he may not play any, to be frank it’s quite improbable – competition for first team football is tremendously high at Stamford Bridge; coaches do not stay long there with poor results, it is a desideratum to hit the ground running with sustainable quality players and there is money in coffer to cough up on players they love to have too.
Gary Cahill. David Luiz. César Azpilicueta. They formed the rearguard in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3, playing the unfamiliar formation quite superbly as Chelsea won the title with unprecedented 30 wins last season.
Antonio Rüdiger joined from Roma for a reported initial fee of £29 million on a five-year deal. Kurt Zouma had staked a claim for a place in the team before he joined Stoke City on loan and he is loved at Stamford Bridge. Andreas Christesen is highly rated, had a successful 2-year loan with Borussia Mönchengladbach, where the Danish defender was voted Player of the Season in his debut season. He made 61 appearances and scored 5 goals for the Borussians. Against Tottenham last week he put up a fine display and was astute in tackling.
It is difficult to think Omeruo can make the cut at Chelsea when he returns at the end of the season, the option, or perhaps the best of options for him would still be to settle down elsewhere where his stock can rise again. Not all dreams come true after all.
Article written by Innocent Okpako
Innocent is a Theist, Essayist, Football aficionado and a burgeoning broadcast Journalist.