Nigeria international defender Kenneth Omeruo has turned down the opportunity of a loan move to an English top-flight club for a stay in the Championship with Middlesborough.
The 20-year-old, who played in all of the Super Eagles’s matches at the 2014 World Cup, has set his sights on helping Boro return to the top flight next season, rather than wasting away on the bench with any of the Premier League sides.
The centre-back was a reported target for newcomers Queens Park Rangers (QPR) and Steve Bruce’s Hull City, but has opted to rather return to the Championship, where he was a regular starter at the Riverside Stadium last season.
“It’s difficult to see a 20-year-old play week in, week out . And if I go join a Premiership side I would not be guaranteed regular play,” Omeruo is quoted as saying by AfricanFootball.com.
“So, if I would be on the bench in another club, I would rather remain at Chelsea.
“So, that’s why I decided to go where I am familiar with and guaranteed regular play.”
Omeruo agreed an improved three-year deal with the ‘Blues’ in May, which is expected to keep him with the Stamford Bridge outfit until 2018.
But as the London club presently boasts of a number of high-profile stars in their defensive line-up, the former Nigeria youth player is poised for his third loan spell since joining from Belgian club Standard Liege in January 2012.
His first and immediate spell came at Dutch side ADO Den Haag before the previous outing with Middlesbrough in the second half of the 2013/14 season.
“I personally think it was best for me because I am already established as a player in ‘Boro, the fans like me,” Omeruo added on his return to the team managed by former Jose Mourinho’s assistant Aitor Karanka.