Kenneth Omeruo finally gets a permanent home after seven years as a Chelsea player and no appearances for the Blues. The Nigerian had been on loan to five different clubs before Leganés made his loan deal permanent this summer.
A 51-cap Nigeria international, he had impressed adequately at all his loan spells but never got a chance at Chelsea. The 25-year-old can now look to settle at a club he can truly call his.
The show of faith from Mauricio Pellegrino was a determining factor as he made 31 appearances last season. He stated his desire to remain in Spain permanently earlier on, and would be keen to kick on and repay his Argentinian manager with consistent performances.
A huge defensive presence who is strong in the tackle, Omeruo averaged 1.8 tackles per game, 1.6 interceptions and 5.6 clearances in La Liga. His experience at international level as includes Africa Cup of Nations gold and bronze medals, two World Cup appearances and the Confederations Cup is unmatched in the Leganés squad.
Omeruo was one of Nigeria’s key players at this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations as they clinched third place. His assured displays at the back saw him deliver 2.2 tackles per game, 2.5 interceptions, 5 clearances, a goal and an assist. Omeruo’s exploits with the Super Eagles make him a prime candidate for the captaincy following the international retirements of Odion Ighalo and Mikel Obi.
His eye-catching Africa Cup of Nations exploits and performances on loan last season earned him a well-deserved transfer.
Arriving at a bargain price of £4.6 million he could become an important player in La Liga for the coming years. His calmness and maturity on the ball is a vital asset for Los Pepineros as they look to improve on a 13th place finish in their fourth season in La Liga. It would not be a surprise to see a move to a bigger club in the near future, and Chelsea’s sell-on clause ensures they won’t miss out on a fee.
Here is a settled environment where Omeruo’s qualities can be utilized and appreciated. His experience training with Chelsea and playing in the Netherlands, the English Championship, Turkey and Spain; alongside his long-awaited need for stability can be properly exploited by Pellegrino
La Liga is also getting a committed defender who fits right into the highly-technical nature of the league; Omeruo can certainly become a stalwart around these shores for years to come.