Former Wednesday loan midfielder Stuart Holden played a part in Oguchi Onyewu’s decision to make Hillsborough the latest stop in his globe-trotting.
Onyewu, a USA international colleague of Holden’s, grew up in America and has been with clubs in Spain, Portugal, Holland, Italy and Belgium, as well as Newcastle and QPR.
Also a multi-lingual footballer, he had a few options this month in various countries - “notably France” - but having spent two and a half months at Loftus Road he saw the move to Wednesday on a contract to the end of the season as an opportunity to start playing again in an appealing environment, without having to go abroad.
“I did my due diligence, asked around about the squad, the coach and the club; I’m sure they did the same thing on me,” said the 31-year-old centre half.
“I spoke to Harry Redknapp, Kevin Bond (QPR assistant manager) and Stuart Holden, to get his feel for when he was a player here, and about how the club received him, how the players received him: he had nothing but positives to say.
“Me and Stuart are very close and his opinion holds heavy in my decision. I thank him for that.”
Onyewu also holds Belgian citizenship, is fluent in French and can hold a conversation in Spanish and Portuguese.
“I’ve played in a number of countries, learned a few languages; it’s a blessing,” he says, “It’s a also kind of stressful at the same time, moving around; that’s the nature of the sport.
“With every opportunity, I was thankful I was given it. I’m going to work just as hard as I have done in the past, repay the confidence that they have shown me here, and hopefully become a fans’ favourite as well as a coach’s and team-mates’ favourite. I’m just happy and excited.
“I don’t think any player likes to move around too much, but for different reasons you have to go where different options are.
“I’ve played at some huge clubs; I don’t think I’d look back and change my decisions.
“I’ve played at Milan, Newcastle; at Malaga last season we had a very good team; at Sporting Lisbon we made the semi-finals of the Europa League, and at Standard Liege we won the title.
“I think that throughout my career I’ve played at teams that are willing and have the mentality to compete; I see that in training here, I see that in the eyes of the coach, and I’m hopefully going to experience that when I play with the team.”