While many of the African players featured in this series have been linked to some of Europe’s major clubs after excelling over the last 12 months, Chelsea’s Kenneth Omeruo finds himself on a different trajectory.
Having failed to make a single league appearance for the Blues since he joined from Belgian outfit Standard Liege in 2012, Omeruo again finds himself back at Stamford Bridge with little hope of actually playing for the Blues.
It’s time, surely, for him to look for another place to call home.
Chelsea’s serial loanee enjoyed a decent 2016/17 season at Alanyaspor, appearing 26 times as Safet Susic’s side finished 12th in the Turkish Super Lig.
The 23-year-old scored a goal to complement his efforts in the rearguard but was also guilty of putting the ball into his own net twice.
On 29 April, with his team down by a lone goal against Kayserispor, the former ADO Den Haag man was sent for an early bath just before the break after receiving a red card. Super Eagles teammate Raheem Lawal then helped his side finish the tie 3-0 as Omeruo’s dismissal proved costly.
He was also cautioned eight times throughout the season, as a worrying streak of indiscipline persists.
Omeruo has returned from Turkey for preseason, but doesn’t appear to be in Antonio Conte’s plan. The Blues have sold more promising youngsters who look even more likely to force a break into the fold at the Stadium Bridge, with Nathan Ake and Christian Atsu two such examples.
Ake was recalled from his loan spell at Bournemouth in January after some impressive performances to help provide depth to a shallow yet effective Chelsea backline. He came in handy as the London side marched on to lift the English top flight title, but hasn’t been retained.
Andreas Christensen is another prospect for Conte’s 3-4-3 plan after returning from a two-year German education at Borussia Monchengladbach. However, with a big money move for Roma’s Antonio Rudiger in the pipline, the Dane looks primed to leave West London.
Subsequently, it’s hard to imagine that Omeruo is anywhere close to the first team, and his reported ‘frustration’ at going out on loan looks unlikely to be assuaged any time soon.
He’s clearly keen on a move away, and newly promoted Turkish side Goztepe SK, as well as Sivasspor and Yeni Malatyaspor, are circling for his signature, as reported by Turkish outlet Fotomac .
Omeruo has until July 2019 before the expiration of his current contract with Roman’s Army, but as each season passes, his chances of featuring for his parent club reduce as well as his stock.
It’s indeed a downward trajectory for the defender who was once tipped to be a future first-teamer at Stamford Bridge, ahead of a move to Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough.
Barring an epic renaissance of Victor Moses-sized proportions, it’s impossible to see Omeruo featuring for Chelsea any time soon.