Oguchi Onyewu went into this summer a free agent and hoped to put together a strong Confederations Cup performance to draw some potential suitors for his services. It appears he has found a taker, though not one from the leagues we might have expected him to go to.
According to Sky Sports, Onyewu has signed a three-year deal with Turkish club Fenerbahce, choosing to pass on the possibility of signing with Birmingham City after talks stalled with the English club.
Fenerbahce finished in fourth place in the Turkish League last season, qualifying for the Europa League in the process. The Turkish club has been known for its free-spending ways, having landed the likes of Dani Guiza, Robert Carlos and Stephen Appiah in recent years. The club boasts several of the top players from Turkey's impressive Euro 2008 run, including Semih Senturk, Kazim Kazim and Volkan Demiral.
The club, coached by recently-hired German Christoph Daum, has been very active in this summer's transfer market as it attempts to return to the heights it reached when it made an improbable run to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals just two years ago. Last season was a disappointing one that saw Fenerbahce finish fourth in Turkey and winless in the Champions League group stage.
What's my take on the move? If true, Onyewu is heading to an underrated Turkish League that doesn't boast the strength of Europe's top leagues but is very competitive at the top. He will also get to play in the Europa League with a team very capable of making a deep run in the tournament. Some will question why he didn't just stay with Champions League-bound Standard Liege. It is a safe bet that Onyewu's salary with Fenerbahce will be significantly higher than his salary with Standard.
What do you think of Onyewu going to Fenerbahce? Disappointed he won't be going to a bigger league? Just want him to play regularly heading into the 2010 World Cup?
Share your thoughts below.