Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Nedum stays, signs

I've spent a lot of the summer going on about how I hope we only sign one centre back, because then we can partner John Terry/Joleon Lescott/whoever with Nedum Onuoha and thus maintain the Academy element within the team. I worried that the arrival of two centre backs would limit Onuoha's chances so far that he would be forced out.

I am delighted to have been proven wrong today: rather than agitate for a transfer, to keep his World Cup dream alive, Nedum Onuoha has signed a new five year deal. This says an awful lot for the Onuoha's patience and commitment to the club. Both Joe Hart and Daniel Sturridge have left the club in pursuit of first team football this summer (it is increasingly apparent that Sturridge will start more games this season for Chelsea than he would have done had he stayed at City), and while Onuoha would have been justified in doing so, he has committed his future to MCFC.

It is also a clear statement from Hughes, Bowen et al that they see Onuoha as a key part in our long term plans. As Hughes said today:

“Nedum is a very important part of my future plans for the team, and I am very pleased he has decided to extend his contract with us. Despite his tender years he has already matured into a very good defender who has made a significant impact on the first team,” he stressed.

“Nedum has huge potential for the future and is another shining example of the kind of quality our academy can produce for Manchester City football club.”

This firmly suggests that Onuoha will have a real part to play this season. But, presuming we sign Lescott (or Upson), he will be at best third choice. Yes, Kolo will have African Cup of Nations duty which will give Onuoha a few games. But probably not as many as he played in 2008/09 - 27 starts in all competitions. Where, though, does all this leave Richard Dunne?

1 comment:

citymad said...

I agree it is really good news about Onouha, but where does Kompany fit into this - he is probably still the best centre back we hae and the arrival of Barry and possbly Veloso limit his opportunities for the defensive midfielde role!