Kenneth Omeruo is one of the best CBs in Africa and certainly one of Nigeria’s most successful this decade, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the former Chelsea player, in fact he didn’t start his career as a Defender.
Omeruo at age 23 won the Africa Cup of Nations with one of the most outstanding performances in 2013, but after the triumph in Johannesburg, the player experienced a slump in his form and his career seemed to be heading nowhere.
He was shipped out on loan five times; after that AFCON success, cutting across England, Turkey and Spain.
He would not play a competitive game for Chelsea before he was sold to CD Leganes, who coughed up close to a club-record (€5m) for his services.
It was at Leganes he found his spark again, reinvigorated, him and the Super Eagles returned to the AFCON, six years after they won it – twice missing out on qualification.
Unlike in 2013, the team finished with a Bronze medal, but Omeruo was a crucial member of the squad and impressed yet again.
Now 26 and recounting his early journeys in football, the Nigeria international revealed he thought he was cut out to be a Striker until fate played him a trump card.
“I was a striker,” said Omeruo in an interview with AS.
” I think there was a tournament that I went on trials so I got there and there were so many strikers and very few defenders.
“So I decided to go in defence and I was chosen.”
Since then he never looked back and until an injury in October that slowed him down, the 6ft Defensive Destroyer was in the conversation of La Liga’s top Center Half.
He has since returned under new Manager Javier Aguirre and the Nigerian seem to be finding his mojo again.