Newcastle sign United States defender Onyewu

January 30, 2007

Newcastle new boy Oguchi Onyewu has insisted he is on Tyneside for the long haul.

The 24-year-old United States international defender this afternoon completed a loan move until the end of the season, but he is determined to make manager Glenn Roeder take up an option to make the switch from Belgian side Standard Liege permanent.

Onyewu said: 'I am not here just for the short-term, I am definitely here for the long-term and to make something special happen.'

The defender will be among the crowd for tomorrow night's Premiership clash with Aston Villa at St James' Park, but will hope to be involved in the weekend trip to Fulham.

Onyewu, who spoke to Middlesbrough during the summer and has also been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Marseille, revealed he had been aware of the Magpies' interest for some time.

He said: 'I have known for a couple of weeks now. I have been following Newcastle for quite some time and saw they were struggling in terms of results, and (thought) maybe this could possibly be in my future.

'It did not take long, but it was not quick either. There were other possibilities, but in the end I realised this was the best career move for me.

'I am a hard player, very hard. My work ethic is very high and I just want to contribute something positive to the team.'

Born to Nigerian parents in Washington DC, Onyewu emerged from college football to win a move to Metz in France before heading for La Louviere and then Standard in Belgium.

However, the chance to play in England for Newcastle was simply too good to turn down.

He told the club's official website: 'The club has a great history and great names despite their lack of any championships in the past couple of years.

'I know they want to get a title in the coming seasons and I want to be part of something special at this club.

'I know the squad has been injury-stricken. They had a number of injuries early in the season which may have been the cause of some of their poor results.

'But I know the injured players are coming back and hopefully in the second half of the season, we will be able to get better results.'