To round up the 2012-13 youth football season at Chelsea, we’re reviewing every single one of the Chelsea youngsters currently on the books who have spent time out on loan during the campaign. Here, we focus on Kenneth Omeruo.
Club: ADO Den Haag (Netherlands)
It’s been something of a breakout season for Omeruo, but his exposure has had almost nothing to do with his performances in the Netherlands. A surprise uncapped inclusion in Stephen Keshi’s Nigeria squad for the African Cup of Nations, the 19 year-old was entrusted with a starting berth at centre-back ahead of the more experienced Joseph Yobo, and paid back the faith in full by helping the Super Eagles to glory.
His assured performances – including outings up against Didier Drogba, no less – caught the eye of many a Chelsea fan tuning in to check on the fortunes of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, and offered an insight into a player many will not have heard of until the turn of the this year.
Back in The Hague, he spent the first half of the season at right-back, where he had featured almost exclusively since arriving from Standard Liege, but saw more time in the middle after shining there for his country. With the team proving totally unremarkable on the pitch and being entrenched in mid-table, there was generally very little to say about the team or Omeruo in general, other than to note his continued positive development and, whilst he’s not the complete package yet, he’s very much on an upward curve.
Omeruo has probably outgrown ADO by now, having spent eighteen months there and been a first choice for almost all of that time. He and his agent both have eyes for England and Chelsea, although there is unlikely to be room at the inn right now. That said, the Blues could do with a centre-back with his exceptional athleticism, and his agent has all but confirmed that he’ll be a part of their pre-season plans, but it’s unlikely that he’ll stick in London for 2013-14. Another loan spell beckons.