New arrival Massimo Luongo relishing fight for Sheffield Wednesday starting role

New boy Massimo Luongo is relishing the battle for a starting berth at Sheffield Wednesday.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 12:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 1:05 am

Luongo, signed for an undisclosed fee from Queens Park Rangers on transfer deadline-day, will be competing with Sam Hutchinson, Kieran Lee, Barry Bannan and Joey Pelupessy for a spot in the Owls' midfield.

But the Australian international is confident the competition for places will bring out the best in him.

He said: "I think I am going to relish the chance to prove myself and earn my spot in the team.

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Sheffueld Wednesday new signing Massimo Luongo…..Pic Steve Ellis

"If I am not in the team straight away, I think being amongst these quality players is only going to make me a better player. Being amongst quality is going to bring out my quality.

"I think when you get comfortable in a team and when you have been there too long and you know your place, I think you can get complacent.

"I think looking at the midfield here I am definitely going to be on my toes and hopefully I can keep on their toes and hoping they push me.”

The Star understands Luongo has cost the Owls around £1m. The 26-year-old, who is Wednesday's fifth summer signing after Moses Odubajo, Julian Borner, Kadeem Harris and Paul Jones joined, has signed a three-year contract.

Sheffueld Wednesday new boy Massimo Luongo…..Pic Steve Ellis

On his attributes, Luongo said: "I am a box-to-box midfielder. I want to get up and down and create things.

"I want to stop goals and be active in both boxes. I love a hard tackle and I want to get on the ball and be that link between the defence and front men.

"I like to think of myself as an all action midfielder. I want to keep the energy high and push the team from the midfield and try and pull them along."

Luongo started his senior career with Tottenham Hotspur before moving to Swindon Town in 2013 following a loan spell. He established himself as a key member of the Robins side, helping them reach the League One play-off final.

He eventually made the step up to the Championship in 2015 when QPR, recently relegated from the Premier League, drafted him in. Luongo, who has 42 Socceroos caps, made nearly 150 appearances for the R's, scoring 10 goals.

On the move to S6, he said: "I have been looking forward to it a for a few days now and I am just so happy to get it over the line.

“Credit to QPR and Wednesday for trying to get this over the line, but I think it has always been in the works over the whole pre-season and in the last couple of days something sparked it and it has come around quickly.

“I have had to get up here real quick and get things done.”

It is a fresh start for Luongo.

"I have never really been up north; I don't know what it is like," he said.

“I have come up here, seen how the club is run, met people in the club and that is what got me excited straight away.

“I have always enjoyed coming here and enjoyed playing under the atmosphere so it has got me really excited.

“Initially I think it was the history of the club. The feeling I get when I come here is that it is a tough place to come and the atmosphere makes it tough for the teams that try and get some points here.”

Luongo sees no reason why Wednesday can’t do well this term.

"The team play really good football,” said Luongo.

“They have always had an identity of playing nice, attractive football.

"I think that was the number one instigator for me to come here is to be in a team where they want to play the right way and the fans come and enjoy what they are seeing."

He could make his Owls debut against Barnsley this weekend.

Luongo said: "I can't wait to be a part of it.

"Hopefully I can get on the pitch and experience Hillsborough for the first time. I'm looking forward to it.”

Interim Wednesday boss Lee Bullen will have to make one enforced change to his starting XI. Keiren Westwood is set to serve a one-match suspension following his red card at Reading. Cameron Dawson is poised to deputise, with new signing Paul Jones likely to be named on the bench.

Versatile defender Dominic Iorfa completes his two-match ban.