Kenneth Omeruo: Middlesbrough sign Chelsea and Nigeria man

Championship Middlesbrough have signed Nigeria centre-back Kenneth Omeruo on loan from Chelsea until the end of May.

The 20-year-old started all the Super Eagles' matches as they won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but has played just twice since injuring his shoulder at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Joining Middlesbrough provides me with an opportunity to be sharp for the World Cup

Kenneth Omeruo

Last season, he played 36 games on loan at Dutch top-flight side ADO Den Haag.

"With the World Cup in June, it is important to have the chance of playing regularly," Omeruo told BBC Sport.

"Hopefully I can help Middlesbrough fight for promotion - nothing is impossible in football."

After signing for the Blues from Standard Liege in January 2012, Omeruo was immediately sent on loan to Den Haag.

He is yet to make his Chelsea debut, and with his sights firmly set on the World Cup in Brazil, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has allowed him to move to the Riverside.

Omeruo's career appearances

  • Standard Liege, 2010-12: no games
  • Chelsea, 2012-present: no games
  • ADO Den Haag (loan), 2012-13: 36 games
  • Nigeria, 2013-present: 14 caps

Omeruo will be working under Boro's Spanish boss Aitor Karanka, formerly Mourinho's assistant manager at Real Madrid.

"Training with the first-team at Chelsea is just not good enough for my progress and development," Omeruo explained.

"More significantly, I was highly recommended [to Karanka] by Jose Mourinho and that feels good.

"They [Karanka and Mourinho] speak to each other on a daily basis so I believe I'll be in good hands.

"Apart from playing regularly and helping the team, this provides me with an opportunity to be sharp for the World Cup."