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.