Kenneth Omeruo: Alanyaspor loan move ‘raises bar’, says Chelsea defender

Kenneth Omeruo

Kenneth Omeruo will spend a second consecutive season in Turkey

Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo believes his loan move to Turkey’s Alanyaspor is his biggest challenge.

The 22-year-old Nigeria international has yet to play for the Blues since signing in January 2012 and has now been sent on loan for a fourth time.

“The focus right now is to play regularly and establish myself here,” Omeruo told BBC Sport.

“I know what to expect joining a team with big ambitions – it means the bar has been raised even higher.”

The move to Turkey is a swift return to the Super Lig for centre-back Omeruo after a loan stint at Kasimpasa last term.

He was a firm fixture in the Kasimpasa side, making 26 appearances, but the Turkish club could not take up the option to buy him at the end of his loan spell.

‘Desire to prove myself’

And it is unlikely Alanyaspor could make the switch permanent because on Tuesday Omeruo signed a contract extension with Chelsea, keeping him on the club’s books until July 2019.

“I don’t want to enjoy the tag of being a Chelsea player always going out on loan without regular football,” Omeruo added.

“My desire is to prove myself a worthy addition to Alanyaspor, make a significant contribution in all competitions and take it from there.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself but everybody wants to be settled at a place and play regularly – I am no different.”

Omeruo joined Chelsea from Belgian side Standard Liege and has since been on loan at ADO Den Haag in Netherlands and at twice at Championship side Middlesbrough.

Despite not making a competitive appearance for Chelsea, Omeruo was called up by Nigeria for the first time in January 2013 and went on to play at that year’s Africa Cup of Nations and Confederations Cup and at the 2014 World Cup.

Meanwhile, two Nigerian internationals, Rabiu Ibrahim and Kingsley Madu, have quit Slovakian champions AS Trencin for the Belgium top flight.

Midfielder Ibrahim, who won the Fifa U-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2007, has signed a three-year deal with KAA Gent.

Left-back Madu, a bronze medallist with the country’s U-23 squad at the Rio Olympics, has also signed for Zulte-Waragem on a three-year deal.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37224222