In this special interview, Super Eagles and CD Leganes loanee defender from Chelsea Kenneth Omeruo speaks about his stay so far at the modest LaLiga club and his next career goals. He also speaks confidently about Nigeria’s chances of winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
You have played all over Europe, England, Turkey, and Holland, just to mention a few. How would you rate the Spanish La Liga as a competition compared to the other leagues?
I will rate LaLiga as the biggest league I have played in so far. For me it’s one of the best leagues in the world and there is a lot of quality, very practical and technical as well, so for me this was definitely expected.
You play for Leganés and the club is currently facing a relegation battle, do you think that the club will survive at the end of the season?
Yeah, definitely. I have not been part of the team that got relegated and we have a good manager. We’ve been unlucky in a few games, but I think we have all it takes to stay in the league.
When you joined Leganés at the start of the season, you started from the bench, but eventually you got your chance and now you are a regular in the team. How did you achieve this?
For me it was by hard work, I have never gone to any team with the guarantee of playing time, so I have always had to work my way into the team and unfortunately someone got injured and I came on. I definitely knew I had to use that opportunity and we won that game. Ever since then I’ve been playing and trying to do better than the last game because once you lose the opportunity it’s gone.
You are on loan at Leganés in the LaLiga, are you looking to make this move permanent?
I don’t know. Left to me, if I have to choose of course I want to stay, but if not, I have to finish the season and see if I have better options and to know if the club also wants to keep me for longer time, but I am definitely starting to plan to move on to a permanent base.
Having lived in Spain for a few months now, how are you adapting to the country, the city you are living in, the culture, the people?
Yeah, it’s good, they are nice, there are really nice people here, the culture is normal like most of the developed countries, and there are nice people. I try to understand the few important Spanish words, and yeah hopefully when I stay permanent I will learn the language properly.
I’m glad you mentioned the language, are you learning the language already?
Yeah I am.
Do u love Spanish food as well?
Yes, most times I eat at home. Yeah, their food is nice and there’s other continental food as well. Other countries have their restaurants here so it’s not like I’m lagging behind, there is a lot of Nigerian restaurants here as well, so I’ve got what I need.
How is your relationship with the other Nigerian players in LaLiga like: Uzoho, Chukwueze and the rest of them – Azeez Ramon, IK Uche, and Simon Moses? How is your relationship with all these guys?
Very good, I speak to Chukwueze, Simon. Uzoho has visited me twice already, and we keep in contact. I also speak to Uche Kālu as well and I have not spoken to Ramon. Yeah, the relationships are good.
Talking about the national team now, the last time Nigeria played at the Nations Cup was 2013, you were part of that team and Nigeria won it that time. However Super Eagles dis not qualify unti the 2019 edition that is coming up in June. How would you rate the chances of the super eagles at AFCON?
Yeah, Of course, I know Egypt has an advantage now. They are a good team and also now they are hosting as well. We have got what it takes, from the one we qualified already, it’s good and the spirit in the camp is good and high. Most of our players are playing in good leagues as well, so, yeah I think we have a good chance of winning the AFCON.
And finally Kenneth, a word for your fans here in Nigeria and of course all over Africa.
I wish them a good year and I hope they keep supporting us, support the team even when we might not be doing what they want, you know others want to win though. Sometimes we drop some games, we let some games go, and we hope our fans to be behind us, to cheer us the way through.