Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo believes another stint with Middlesbrough is the best thing for his career at this stage, upon returning to Teesside for a second consecutive loan spell under Aitor Karanka.
Omeruo spent the latter-half of the previous campaign with Boro, drawing rave reviews in his 14 appearances, and is now set for a season-long loan at the Championship side, with Karanka’s relationship with Jose Mourinho from his time as the Blues manager's assistant at Real Madrid proving a crucial factor in the deal.
Signing a new-long term contract at Stamford Bridge this summer, the Nigerian centre-back went on to star at the World Cup during his side’s run to the last 16 but, despite his raised profile, states that both Mourinho and club technical director Michel Emenalo convinced him the move was a good one for his future.
‘I had a chat with Michael Emenalo and after hearing the plans Chelsea had for me next season, I think the best place for me to achieve this goal is to go back to Middlesbrough,’ he told supersport.com.
‘I want to thank Chelsea and according to Mourinho, Middlesbrough is the best place for me to gain enough experience and play a lot of games.
‘I made a decision after hearing from Mourinho and Emenalo and I am happy with my decision.’
Signing for Chelsea in January 2012 from Standard Liege, aged 18, Omeruo was immediately sent out on loan to Dutch outfit ADO Den Haag through to the end of the 2012-13 campaign, appearing in 36 games during his 18-month stint in Eredivisie.
With 17 caps for Nigeria since his 2013 debut, the 20-year-old has widely been hailed as one of the club’s most exciting prospects but, with little room in the first-time at this time, the move back to Boro is likely the most sensible course to take for this coming season.
Often described as a tall, rangy but strong defender, Omeruo certainly has a bright club and international future ahead of him, and the regular playing time in 2014-15 could work wonders for his development, as he bids to prove his undoubted potential to the Chelsea hierarchy.
With his current deal running until 2018, his route to the first-team is blocked at this point by Gary Cahill, John Terry, Kurt Zouma and the versatile Branislav Ivanovic but, if he demonstrates the form which was showcased this summer in Brazil, then he will be hard for Mourinho to ignore.
Will Kenneth Omeruo be a future regular in the Chelsea lineup?