American defender Oguchi Onyewu has struggled to find his place in the team for AC Milan since making his move to the Italian giants before last season, a struggle only exacerbated by his torn patella tendon that ruled him out for seven months. In an effort to get back on the field, get match fit and revive his career, the 28-year-old Onyewu will leave Milan for the rest of the season and go on loan with FC Twente, one of the Netherlands' top clubs.
Onyewu was courted by many clubs, including several in Serie A when he was available on a free transfer in the summer of 2009, but he chose to sign with one of the world's biggest clubs, AC Milan and has struggled to find the field ever since. A torn patella tendon in a World Cup qualifier for the United States in October of 2009 set the 6'5'' central defender back even further and despite a rapid recovery, couldn't get his fitness back in time for the World Cup, even if Bob Bradley believed otherwise and started a gimpy Onyewu in the team's first two World Cup matches. Now reportedly back to 100 percent health, Onyewu hasn't made a single appearance for Milan this season, which ramped up rumors that he would go on loan with clubs like Genoa rumored to be interested.
Instead of staying in Serie A for his loan, Onyewu is going to Twente, where he should find a level of comfort. The Dutch club is managed by Michel Preud'homme, who managed Onyewu when he was a part of a championship Standard Liege side in Belgium. Onyewu's play for Preud'homme and Liege is what grew his stock and now he will play for Preud'homme again, this time in the Netherlands.
FC Twente are the defending Eredivisie champions and currently sit second in the league table, four points behind PSV with a match in hand. Twente's defense had a bad run of form just before their winter break, surrendering three goals to Tottenham Hotspur and six goals to Heerenveen in their final two matches.
Onyewu, in desperate need of a career revival that can only come by playing matches, will have an opportunity to earn some time for Twente, but only if he really is back to full health and capable of playing at the high level that he was at in the couple years prior to his injury last in October of 2009. If he cannot find his form once again, Onyewu's career with the United States national team might be over and his dream of featuring for one of the world's top clubs, as was made clear when he signed for Milan, may never come to fruition. However, a good showing with Twente will likely result in a return to the national team and his high stock from 18 months ago.