Sheffield Wednesday: Giant Atdhe eyes Rapid progress with Owls

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Giant striker Atdhe Nuhiu has set his sights on playing in the Premier League with Sheffield Wednesday - but wants to finish his career at former club Rapid Vienna.

Ex-Austrian youth international Nuhiu, a 6ft 6in striker, was plucked from relative obscurity by Dave Jones, who tracked him for a number of months at Turkish side Eskisehirspor.

The 23-year-old had a trial at Crystal Palace before joining Wednesday, and announced his arrival in style with a stunning goal on his Owls debut at Queens Park Rangers.

“I want absolutely to play in the Premier League,” Nuhiu, in an interview with an Austrian football website, said.

“The Championship is so tight here, that there are no promotion favourites or relegation candidates.

“There are so many games, so anything is possible. If you lose two or three, you’re back in trouble and if you win two or three, you’re right back up there.”

Asked whether a return to Rapid, who loaned Nuhiu out to Eskisehirspor and then decided against renewing his contract, was still of interest to him, the striker admitted: “Of course! I think I’d help Rapid very well.

“I do not know who ultimately decided not to exercise the option [to extend the contract].

“My football was developing in Turkey, so it would have been nice if someone from Rapid had seen my progress before making the decision, because I believe no-one from Rapid ever came to watch me.

“I have always worn the Rapid shirt with pride, and I hope that I will wear the green and white in my career again.

“In Turkey, as a man, I developed, and now I hope to take the next step in my career in Sheffield.”

“I have settled in very well in Sheffield,” Nuhiu added.

“The city is great; there’s a lot more going on here than in Turkey.

“The coach, Dave Jones made me feel absolutely wanted. I looked at the whole thing, and I liked it immediately.

“In England, it’s not necessarily easy just to get a foothold. But I trust the coach, which is important.”

Nuhiu made the fourth start of his Wednesday career in last Saturday’s Yorkshire derby against Leeds at Elland Road, and could once again lead the line on Saturday when the Owls entertain Millwall at Hillsborough.

“I must say the atmosphere at Hillsborough is cool. But luckily, I experienced playing at Rapid, where the fans of course are incredible.

“Similarly in Turkey, the atmosphere was always great.

“The coach has already told the players that they should play to my strengths in the penalty area, and we train accordingly.

“On the other hand, though, you have seen with my goal against QPR that I have developed my all-round game since leaving Rapid, and the philosophy of the coach is that we always play football.”

Nuhiu scored seven goals in 13 appearances for Austria’s U21 side, but is yet to represent them at senior level.

The striker is also eligible to represent Albania, but admitted: “No-one from the Austrian national team has been in contact. I am willing to wait and see whether one day I get the call. Let’s see who is faster.

“But it’s not down to me. I have been focused on myself in recent weeks, and I don’t want to bother myself thinking about it.

I am here in Sheffield to develop myself and, at 24, I still have all the options.”

Nuhiu also revealed that Lukas Königshofer, the young Vienna goalkeeper, has trained with Wednesday.

“They have asked for my opinion, and I told them that he is a good goalkeeper. If he gets the chance, he can develop well here.”

Lewis Buxton should continue at right back against Millwall following his comeback from injury and illness, but Jermaine Johnson is still suspended.