I had assumed, figured, hoped that after his fine showing at the World Cup, Kenneth Omeruo would slot in as one of our backup center backs this season behind the first choice pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill. It would now appear that's unlikely to be the case.
"I hope that Ken is going to come here again because he has told me he wants to join us. I was speaking with the player, the player wants to join us; Middlesbrough is speaking with Chelsea and I don't think we will have a problem with this."
"He wants to join us, Chelsea want him to come to us, I want him and for this reason I hope it is sorted as soon as possible."
-Aitor Karanka, Middlesborough manager; source: Evening Gazette
While Chelsea have tended to not send players on repeat loans, Karanka obviously has close ties with Mourinho from their Real Madrid days, so there's a good chance this deal will happen sooner rather than later. Omeruo's clearly good enough for the Championship, he settled well there in the second half of last season, and he should get all the minutes he can handle at Middlesborough. Hopefully he'll make up for the minor disappointment of not seeing him in a Chelsea shirt this season at some point in the future.
It's interesting to contemplate what this might mean in conjunction with some of the other rumors swirling around the club. Kurt Zouma has been linked with loans in the Premier League and in France (and even Inter); should that happen, we'd be left with just two center backs. Could this suddenly put the João Miranda rumor into perspective? While it wouldn't make Miranda any younger or cheaper, he would give us three top quality center backs.
Nah, that's still just too ridiculous.
The whole Filipe Luis story though fits in very nicely. I've had my doubts about that potentially transfer; Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta are quite alright in my book as our two first-choice fullbacks. But adding Filipe Luis into that mix frees up Ivanovic for center back duty and allows Azpilicueta to shift back to the right. We'd have three top quality options for the two center back positions and three top quality options for the two full back positions. The five starters for the four defensive positions could then be backed up by a cadre of young players such as Zouma (should he stay), Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Ake, Andreas Christensen, and perhaps even Todd Kane (Go on, Toddy!). And there are still the likes of Patrick van Aanholt and Oriol Romeu, if needed.
Or whoever else we sign from Atlético Madrid.