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Fulham - Weak Link with American Defender

Well, it seems that any time an American footballer is linked with a move to England, Fulham inevitably become part of the discussion; understandable, given the club`s past proclivity for signing Americans.

The latest to be linked with Fulham is Standard Liege central defender Oguchi Onyewu. His contract set to expire this summer, Onyewu is reported to be keen on a return to the Premier League, though he has been linked with clubs in Spain, as well.

If the name sounds familiar to you, it`s because "Gooch," as he is known, was linked with a move to Fulham during the 2006/2007 campaign. Then manager Chris Coleman was very eager to sign the American international.

The deal fell through as an acceptable fee with Standard Liege could not be negotiated. Onyewu eventually joined Newcastle that January on loan until the end of the season, where he played 11 matches for the Magpies, but failed to impress. Then Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder eventually chose not to make the move permanent and Onyewu returned to the Belgium.

To be fair, this is a terribly weak link as the only source, specifically mentioning Fulham, I`ve found for this story is SkySports, who are reporting that we are "said to be showing an interest."

The primary English suitors appear to be Wolverhampton and Birmingham City, though the Express & Star are reporting that Wolves are no longer interested in signing the giant American. Again, this is a terribly weak link and there`s nothing to get excited about (or depressed about, as the case may be), yet. We`ll see how it plays out.

Onyewu is an imposing presence in the center of defense. He`s 6`4" (1.95m), strong, athletic and very good in the air, which allows him to chip in the odd goal on set pieces. He`s a regular for the U.S. national team, having been capped 40 times. Since his rather unimpressive loan spell with Newcastle, Onyewu has become a much more composed, technically proficient center back.

My personal opinion is that Onyewu would not be a bad signing. He`s improved greatly since his spell with Newcastle. I don`t know that he`s ready to be in the starting eleven, but he`d certainly be a capable substitute. He`s also played in Champions League and UEFA Cup competitions over the past several seasons, and as we flirt with our own European adventure, his experience might be useful. Also, he`s available on a Bosman, which would allow us to spend our transfer money in other areas.

Opinions?




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The Journalist

Writer: samboney Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday May 20 2009

Time: 4:52PM

Your Comments

I've read a couple times that he is strongly expected to sign with a French or German side. I know Olympique Marseille wanted to sign him during the January transfer and people are betting that's where he winds up. It'd be nice to see him in the EPL, I just don't know if he's ready. Hopefully we don't need to go looking for CB's :)
mcjoness
We get linked with this lad every year.I think roy could make him a very useful defender, will only be back up tho.
oranje_emu
He wouldn't be my first choice, even as a substitute, but we could do worse. There's no substitute for size, and Gooch is bigger than Hangeland.
Samboney
but is he as agile, big players are usually cumbersome!
Al Billy
I'm not 100% on this. If Brum and Wolves think they can get him...can he be that good?? :P
KBFulham
Not really sure if he'd want to join as back up as I couldnt see him and Hangeland working in the same way as Hughes does.
AlexFFC
He's a good player. I don't think he showed his true colours at Newcastle.
gunnerkid107
has anyone played well defensively at newcastle? i think this could be an astute signing if we take him on the bosman and he plays the cover roll... give him a year under roy, and learning from hangeland, and i think he'd be a pretty good player...
woodysweats
I'd be OK with Onyewu, especially since he'd be a free transfer. Still, there are some other options. With relegation in mind, there is Bassong at Newcastle and Bates at 'Boro. I think Bates is also a Bosman, which is a bonus. One other Bosman that I'm aware of is Karim Haggui from Leverkusen. One advantage Bates has over the rest is he can also play fullback and midfield. As far as utility players, he's a much better option than Scharner.
Samboney
i like it samboney. Bassong is a VERY good shout, as is bates. Haggui is getting on a bit isn't he, if he's the guy im thinking of he was amazing in his prime
oranje_emu
Haggui is 25. He's been a starter for Leverkusen the past few season, but this season he lost his spot to Henrique (on loan from Barca) and since he's out of contract this summer and Hyppia is coming in, he's looking to move on. He's a good, young player and available on a free transfer. Take the "free" out of that scenario and he's a little less appealing.
Samboney
He made his debut for Newcastle against us at the Cottage and was promptly subbed. I think Roy knows better out there.
FulhamJules
You can't judge him by his debut for Newcastle. Has anyone played good in the back for Newcastle in the recent years? Not to mention Onyewu was highly recognized for his performances against Liverpool and Everton this season in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, respectively. Nevertheless, I don't really want him at the Cottage.
mcjoness
 

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