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On-loan Chelsea defender working hard to play for Conte next season

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Cardiff City v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Over the years, we’ve heard many youngsters and loanees talk about working hard and staying focused on an eventual chance at the Chelsea first-team, but perhaps for the first time ever, with Conte’s willingness to play some youth and give previous loan warriors a proper chance, such words carry a bit more realistic hope and impact with them. Whether that realistic hope applies to young Kenneth Omeruo is up for debate, but he remains hopeful nonetheless.

“I am hopeful of playing under coach Antonio Conte next season. I’m working really hard to remain at Chelsea and play in the Premier League.”

-Kenneth Omeruo; source: All Nigeria Soccer

Omeruo has technically been a Chelsea player longer than the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Victor Moses, but has yet to actually play for the club. He spent 18 months on loan in the Netherlands, 24 months on loan at Middlesbrough, and now he’s going on his second year in Turkey, this time with Alanyaspor (starting 8 of 9 league games since joining) after a season at Kasimpasa.

Despite all that, he’s still just 23 and has a Chelsea contract until 2019. Can he do it?