12 clearances, 4 interceptions - Chelsea loanee impresses despite Middlesbrough defeat

Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omeruo stood out for Middlesbrough despite defeat to Leeds.

Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omeruo showed at the World Cup he can play at a level above the Championship, but he subsequently decided to switch to Middlesbrough on loan regardless.

The decision, in terms of his development, could actually be a wise one. The Nigerian is getting the chance to play regular football, in the same country as which he aspires to play, and is able to learn under a manager in Aitor Karanka who Jose Mourinho trusts enormously.

After an opening win against Birmingham, Middlesbrough lost away at Leeds at the weekend, yet Omeruo impressed in the 1-0 loss.

The 20-year-old won four aerial duels, and made a game-high 12 clearances, along with making four interceptions.

Making three successful tackles, Omeruo touched the ball 11 times more than his defensive partner Daniel Ayala.

Opta powered website whoscored list Omeruo as Middlesbrough's best performer on the day, and he certainly impressed watching supporters, who took time to comment via Twitter.




From a development point of view, whether Middlesbrough finish first or second, or in the bottom half, is neither here nor there for the centre-back.

What is important is that he can work to keep a consistently high level of performance over a 46-game Championship season plus cup games, stay fit, and make improvements to his game.

At Chelsea there is a potential chance to stake a claim in the future with John Terry into his mid 30s, but at only 20, the Blues are wise to realise there is no need to rush him just yet.

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