Kenneth Omeruo

Kenneth Josiah Omeruo (born 17 October 1993) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Leganés in La Liga and the Nigeria national team.[3][4] Omeruo signed for Chelsea from Standard Liege in January 2012 and upon signing went on loan to Dutch top-flight side ADO Den Haag. Then only 19, he impressed enough in the Eredivisie to earn a call up to the Nigerian national team.

Kenneth Omeruo
Omeruo with Nigeria in 2017.
Personal information
Full name Kenneth Josiah Omeruo[1]
Date of birth (1993-10-17) 17 October 1993
Place of birth Abia State, Nigeria
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Leganés [2]
Number 4
Youth career
Hard Foundation
2010–2012 Standard Liege
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2019 Chelsea 0 (0)
2012–2013ADO Den Haag (loan) 36 (2)
2014–2015Middlesbrough (loan) 33 (0)
2015–2016Kasımpaşa (loan) 25 (0)
2016–2017Alanyaspor (loan) 26 (1)
2017–2018Kasımpaşa (loan) 28 (1)
2018–2019Leganés (loan) 28 (0)
2019– Leganés 9 (0)
National team
2009 Nigeria U17 7 (1)
2011 Nigeria U20 5 (0)
2013– Nigeria 51 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:43, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:23, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Now a regular international, Omeruo has represented Nigeria at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. Omeruo cemented a place in the starting line-up at the Africa Cup of Nations as it turned into a wonderful tournament for the Super Eagles and they emerged from the tournament victorious.[5] In 2019 he scored his first goal in the Africa Cup of Nations against Guinea.[6] He was a key part of the Super Eagles team that won the bronze medal in 2019.[7]

Club career

Early career

Omeruo had spells at Sunshine Stars and Anderlecht as a trialist before he was signed from the Anderlecht academy by Standard Liège.[8]


In January 2012, Chelsea signed Omeruo from Liège and immediately loaned him out to Eredivisie club ADO Den Haag.[9][10] In May 2014 Nigeria World Cup-bound Omeruo agreed a new three-year contract with Chelsea.[11]

Loan to ADO Den Haag

Omeruo joined ADO Den Haag on an 18-month loan deal which kept him at the club until the end of the 2012–13 season.[12] On 3 March 2012, Omeruo made his debut for ADO Den Haag against SC Heerenveen which ended in a 0–0 draw.[13] On 19 April 2012, in a game against FC Groningen Omeruo scored his first goal for ADO Den Haag.[14]

On 28 April 2012, Omeruo scored against VVV-Venlo in the 19th minute, although just three minutes later scored an own goal.[15] He is the only player in the Dutch league ever to score a goal, an own goal and receive a red card in one match.

Loan to Middlesbrough

On 7 January 2014, Omeruo joined Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the 2013–14 season.[16] On 1 February 2014, Omeruo made his debut for Middlesbrough in a 0–0 draw against Doncaster Rovers.[17] On 8 April 2014, Omeruo was sent off in the 82nd minute after picking up a second yellow. Although Boro had to finish the game with 9-men (Ben Gibson was also sent off late in the game), they still managed to earn a 3–1 win victory against Birmingham City.[18]

He rejoined Middlesbrough for the 2014–15 season,[19] making his first appearance against Birmingham in a 2-0 win.

Loan to Kasımpaşa

On 21 July 2015, Omeruo joined Kasımpaşa on a season-long loan with an option to purchase the player at the end of the spell.[20] On 16 August 2015, Omeruo made his debut for Kasımpaşa in a match against Gaziantepspor, the match ended in a 3–0 victory for Kasımpaşa.[21] Five days later, Omeruo made his home debut against İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. which ended in a 1–0 victory for Kasımpaşa.[22]

Omeruo had an up and down season, suffering from a couple injuries, however started whenever he was fit. Although the loan deal had an option to buy, Kasımpaşa decided to pass on the option due to a lack of funds, which led to Omeruo returning to Chelsea for pre-season.[23]

Loan to Alanyaspor

On 31 August 2016, Omeruo signed a one-year contract extension until 2019, before leaving on loan again.[24] He joined Alanyaspor on a season-long loan.[24] He was given the number 44. On 10 September 2016, Omeruo made his debut in a 0–0 draw against Gençlerbirliği.[25] On 25 February 2017, Omeruo scored his first goal for Alanyaspor in their 4–1 home victory over Adanaspor, netting in the hosts' second in the 37th minute.[26]

In May 2017, Omeruo said he might have to leave Chelsea in order to play regular first-team football.[27]

Return to Kasımpaşa

On 25 August 2017, after signing a new three-year deal at Chelsea, Omeruo returned to Kasımpaşa on a season-long loan.[28][29]


On 15 August 2018, Omeruo joined CD Leganés on a season-long loan.[30][31] In October 2018 he stated that he was enjoying playing in Spain,[32] and in March 2019 he said he wanted to sign for Leganés permanently.[33]

On 13 August 2019, Omeruo returned to Leganés, this time on a permanent deal, ending his seven year spell at Chelsea.[34]

International career

Omeruo played for the Nigerian Under-20 team that reached the quarter-finals at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.[35]

On 9 January 2013, at the age of 19 he played for the senior team for the first time in a goalless draw against Cape Verde. He then went on to play in all of Nigeria's matches at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as Nigeria went on to win the competition for the third time.[36]

Later that year he was selected for Nigeria's squad at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and played in all of the three group games as Nigeria finished third in their group.[37]

Omeuro was named in Nigeria's final squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and started in all four games as Nigeria finished second in their group and were eliminated by France at the Round of 16.[38]

He was selected by Nigeria for their 35-man provisional squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics,[39] but did not make the final 18- man squad.[40]

In May 2018 he was named in Nigeria's preliminary 30 man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[41]

Playing style

Omeruo has been described as a "tall, rangy but strong centre-back" and a "level-headed and determined youngster".[8][5]

Personal life

His younger brother Lucky Omeruo is also a footballer, who currently plays for CD Leganés B. as a striker[42] and for the Nigeria national under-20 football team.[43]

Omeruo and his wife, Chioma Omeruo have welcomed their first child in London, a girl named Chairein Omeruo.

Career statistics


As of 8 December 2019[44]
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Chelsea 2011–12 Premier League 0000
ADO Den Haag (loan) 2011–12 Eredivisie 900090
2012–13 27220292
Total 36220382
Middlesbrough (loan) 2013–14 Championship 1400000140
2014–15 1902010220
Total 3302010360
Kasımpaşa (loan) 2015–16 Süper Lig 25010260
Alanyaspor (loan) 2016–17 Süper Lig 26100261
Kasımpaşa (loan) 2017–18 Süper Lig 28100281
Leganés (loan) 2018–19 La Liga 28030310
Leganés 2019–20 La Liga 900090
Total 37030400
Career total 1854801000001944


As of match played 25 July 2019[45]

International goals

As of 26 June 2019. Score column indicates score after each Omeruo goal, Nigeria score listed first.
126 June 2019Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt Guinea1–01–02019 Africa Cup of Nations




  1. "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  3. Eredivisie. "Kenneth Omeruo, ADO Den Haag". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  4. "Kenneth Omeruo". 17 October 1993. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  5. "Is Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo Chelsea's best kept secret?". BBC Sport. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  6. "Nigeria vs Guinea: Kenneth Omeruo Voted Man Of The Match". For latest Sports news in Nigeria & World. 26 June 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. Published. "AFCON 2019: Nigeria beat Tunisia, win bronze". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  8. "Meet Kenneth Omeruo, the best Chelsea player you've never heard of". FourFourTwo. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  9. "Chelsea linked with move for Standard defender Kenneth Omeruo". ESPN Soccernet. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  10. "Chelsea Sign Nigerian Youngster Kenneth Omeruo". 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  11. "OMERUO AGREES NEW CHELSEA CONTRACT". 26 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  12. "Chelsea linked to Omeruo". Sky Sports. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  13. ADO Den Haag vs. Heerenveen 0 - 0, Soccerway, 3 March 2012, retrieved 31 May 2012
  14. Barry Glendenning (9 May 2012). "The Knowledge | English football's only joint own goal". London: Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  15. VVV-Venlo v.s. ADO Den Haag 2-1, Soccerway, 28 April 2012, retrieved 31 May 2012
  16. "Boro Seal Omeruo Loan". Middlesbrough FC. 7 January 2014. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014.
  17. "Doncaster Rovers vs. Middlesbrough 0 - 0". Soccerway. 1 February 2014.
  18. "Middlesbrough v.s. Birmingham 3 - 1". Soccerway. 8 April 2014.
  19. "Middlesbrough complete Kenneth Omeruo loan deal from Chelsea". BBC Sport. 6 August 2014.
  20. "Omeruo Kasımpaşamızda". Kasımpaşa. 21 July 2015.
  21. "Gaziantepspor vs. Kasımpaşa 0 - 3". Soccerway. 16 August 2015.
  22. "Kasımpaşa vs. İstanbul Başakşehir 1 - 0". Soccerway. 21 August 2015.
  23. "Kenneth Omeruo To Return To Chelsea For Pre-Season Training". AllNigeriaSoccer. 27 May 2016.
  24. "New contract and loan for Omeruo". Chelsea F.C. 31 August 2016.
  25. "Gençlerbirliği vs. Alanyaspor 0 - 0". Soccerway. 10 September 2016.
  26. "Alanyaspor vs. Adanaspor". Soccerway. 25 February 2017.
  27. "Omeruo says he may have to leave Chelsea for first team football". BBC Sport. 7 May 2017.
  28. "New contract and loan for Omeruo". Chelsea Official Site. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  29. "Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo signs new Chelsea deal and is loaned out". BBC Sport. 25 August 2017.
  30. "Leganes Loan For Omeruo". Chelsea Official Site. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  31. "Kenneth Omeruo: Chelsea's Nigerian defender joins Leganes on loan". BBC Sport. 15 August 2018.
  32. "Chelsea's Kenneth Omeruo happy with life in Spain". BBC Sport. 22 October 2018.
  33. "Kenneth Omeruo: Chelsea's Nigeria defender keen on Leganes stay". BBC Sport. 26 March 2019.
  34. "KENNETH OMERUO COMPLETES LEGANES MOVE". Chelsea F.C. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  35. "U-20 Nigeria international, Kenneth Omeruo set for Dutch debut". 2 March 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  36. Oluwashina Okeleji (10 January 2013). "Nations Cup 2013: Nigeria pick six locally-based players". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  37. "Nigeria to take new-look squad to Confederations Cup". BBC Sport. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  38. "France scored twice in the final 11 minutes in Brasilia to beat Nigeria and reach the World Cup quarter-finals". BBC Sport. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  39. Oluwashina Okeleji (24 June 2016). "Kelechi Iheanacho included in Nigeria's Olympics squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  40. "Mikel makes Olympics squad, Awoniyi on standby". Punch. 24 July 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  41. "Revealed: Every World Cup 2018 squad - 23-man & preliminary lists & when will they be announced? |". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  42. "Lucky Omeruo, younger brother of Chelsea of England and Super Eagles defender, Kenneth Omeruo". BBC Sport. 4 December 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  43. "Foreign player's pay stops Omeruo - MTNFootball". MTN. 14 July 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  44. Kenneth Omeruo at Soccerway
  45. "Kenneth Omeruo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
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