Cardiff City have welcomed loan attacker Kelvin Etuhu back to South Wales following his rehabilitation program back at host club Manchester City. He has been out for 2 months with ankle ligament damage and has barely featured for the Bluebirds since arriving on a season long loan. He has good pedigree and potential and showed a good touch and attacking instincts in his brief appearances to date.
Etuhu is now back and ready to resume full training next week, although he would like to be in contention straight away – he will need some time to regain his sharpness and fitness so will probably be available for inclusion in 2 weeks time and following a friendly outing.
Although Etuhu`s return is welcome, and adds to the squad depth available to Dave Jones – it remains unclear where the Nigerian will fit in and be able to secure a starting position which must surely be his aim, and the reason Man City agreed to the loan. Primarily he is a striker, and would therefore expect to compete with Jay Bothroyd given his height and power. However, Etuhu is not that type of player and would struggle to perform the role that Bothroyd carries out for the team.
Another alternative is preferred by Etuhu himself and he favours a wide left role allowing him more possession and a chance to cut inside and shoot with power. Whilst this is a realistic target, there is considerable competition available for that position. Peter Whittingham is the man in possession of that shirt, and has excelled beyong imagination this season scoring goals for fun and winning the player-of-the-month award for October. In competition with Whitts is fit again striker Ross McCormack who would prefer to displace Chopra but will play anywhere and has done well in an advanced roaming role on the left both last season and on the opening day against Scunthorpe United. Joe Ledley is another excellent option for that position.
At present, it looks like Kelvin Etuhu will have to make do with a place on the bench at best. He will need to work hard to regain fitness, and impress in training so that when injury, poor form or suspension hits – he is fit and ready to take his chance. Already late in November, we have little idea of his capabilities.