Kenneth Omeruo skips surgery to stay and fight for a place in Jose Mourinho's Chelsea FC

Clive Rose

Nigeria's campaign at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup was short-lived as they failed to make it out of their group, losing to both Spain and Uruguay. From a Chelsea perspective however, their three matches were quite interesting. Not only did we get to see John Obi Mikel control the midfield (and score a lovely goal!) from his original "Number Ten Role," we were also treated to flashes of excellence from promising center back Kenneth Omeruo.

Omeruo spent all of last season on loan at Eredivise side ADO Den Haag. ADO finished comfortably mid-table and for his efforts, voted the 19-year-old their player of the year. 2013 also saw young Omeruo win his first senior cap for Nigeria, establishing himself as first choice center back shortly thereafter. He played in every match at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, helping Nigeria to the title. He also started every one of their matches at the Confederations Cup, putting in an especially strong performance versus Edinson Cavani and further allaying concerns over any potential work permit issues.

It was in his last start, versus Spain, that he suffered a rather unfortunate injury (following on from the cut he received to his head earlier in the tournament), falling awkwardly as he made a last ditch tackle on one of Spain's many sparkling talents. He had to leave the match with barely ten minutes on the clock and could only watch as his countrymen missed chance after chance, losing by a somewhat harsh 3-0 scoreline.

Omeruo's injury was diagnosed as a dislocated shoulder. Dislocated shoulders can sometimes require arthroscopic surgery to make sure things heal properly and it sounds like that option was open to the budding Super Eagle. However, he has decided against it for very specific reasons:

"I had the option of surgery, which would keep me out for three months, or just rest it. I decided I would rest it."

"I want to be part of the pre-season with Chelsea, and I hope that I can do well enough to stay there and not go out on loan again."

-Kenneth Omeruo; source: KICK OFF

Mirror his representatives' comments from earlier this month, this sounds like a young man full of confidence. As he very well should be. He has after all held both Didier Drogba and Cavani in check already this year while playing for Nigeria. With Chelsea being linked (rather tenously) with a few defensive prospects across Europe (the French pair of Eliaquim Mangala and Kurt Zouma come to mind), Omeruo clearly sees an opportunity to help Chelsea solve their depth in defense issue:

"I'm sure [Jose Mourinho] will be looking at all his options now, and if I work hard enough, I can make it hard for him."

-Kenneth Omeruo; source: KICK OFF

Yes, you can, Kenneth. Yes, you can. Hopefully this turns out to be the right choice for your career and you're not left with a lingering injury as a reward for any potential short-term gain though.

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