Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Onuoha joins Black Cats for season

Nedum Onuoha

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has signed his second defender of the day with the capture of Manchester City centre-back Nedum Onuoha on a season-long loan.

Having secured the return of John Mensah from Lyon for a second loan spell after he impressed last season, Bruce has snared another of his targets in former England Under-21 captain Onuoha.

The 23-year-old came through the ranks at Eastlands and made his first-team debut for City at the age of 17 but he has found his first-team opportunities increasingly limited over the last couple of seasons.

Mensah and Onuoha, who could both face Birmingham in the Barclays Premier League opener on Saturday, swell Sunderland's defensive ranks still further, with Bruce also having snapped up Titus Bramble from Wigan earlier this summer.

"Nedum is a modern-day defender," said the Black Cats boss, who completed a busy day of business after also selling striker Kenwyne Jones to Stoke for £8million.

"He's big, quick and powerful - a really good defender, who, despite his age, has already played over 100 games. He has all the attributes a modern defender needs.

"Nedum is someone I've tracked for a long time so it's great to get the deal done to bring him here. He can play anywhere across the back line, too, so it's great to have added that flexibility and some strong competition for places."

Onuoha, who was born in Nigeria but raised in Manchester, is considered one of England's brightest young defensive talents and, despite a number of injury problems and competition for places, he has already made more than 100 appearances for City.

He signed a five-year deal with Roberto Mancini's side last summer but, with City having boosted their defensive ranks still further in the close season with the additions of Jerome Boateng and Aleksandar Kolarov, Onuoha has chosen to move on.

Mensah, meanwhile, has finally completed his return to the Stadium of Light after a protracted agreement was sorted out with the French club. Bruce had always maintained he was eager to bring the defender back, and the former Rennes man's impressive displays for Ghana at the World Cup also meant there was the chance other clubs would try to step in. The 27-year-old impressed immensely when he was fit last season but a number of injury problems meant he was restricted to 18 appearances.

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