What the future holds for long-serving Sheffield Wednesday striker Atdhe Nuhiu

With his towering 6ft 6in frame, Atdhe Nuhiu is never a hard man to spot.

By dom.howson1
Monday, 29 April, 2019, 09:56

Yet seeing and trying to stop the Wednesday centre-forward represent two different things.

"He is a big lump but he has got good feet for the size of him," conceded Owls manager Steve Bruce in a recent interview.

Nuhiu underlined his value as an impact sub at Preston North End on Saturday. Brought on midway through the second half at the expense of Josh Onomah, the Kosovo international played an influential role in the Owls' remarkable late fightback.

Nuhiu provided the assist for Fernando Forestieri's 76th minute goal with a pinpoint cross from the right. Moments later, he superbly headed home Barry Bannan's fine delivery to rescue a point for Bruce's side.

Bruce said: "He is some weapon to have when you are chasing the game in awful conditions.

"You go a little bit direct and put it into him and there is nothing wrong with that.

Sheffield Wednesday forward Atdhe Nuhiu celebrates his late equaliser against Preston North End

"Everybody wants to play lovely, open, attacking football but sometimes you just put it forward, get it into the box and ask the big man to get on the end of it."

It is well-documented that Wednesday have an abundance of strikers. Sam Winnall missed out on a place in the matchday squad at Deepdale and their attacking options will further increase in the summer when Jordan Rhodes returns from his loan spell at Premier League-bound Norwich City.

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Bruce is acutely aware the Owls have "too many" forwards and has vowed to address that department of the team come the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

Nuhiu has only started one match under Bruce; the 2-0 triumph at Bolton Wanderers. His other eight league outings in the past three months have come from off the bench.

Having struggled to hold down a regular starting spot in recent months, Nuhiu could be forgiven for thinking his long-term future lies elsewhere.

But speaking after their six-goal thriller at Preston, Bruce said: "He has got a big part to play in the future with us."

Nuhiu, known affectionately by the Wednesday faithful as ‘Big Dave’, moved to Hillsborough on a free transfer in the summer of 2013. He has made over 240 appearances in all competitions, hitting 43 goals.

"I think the players do recognise that I am one of the longest players here," he said. "There are players that move around a lot in their careers and I am quite proud to be here for so many years.

"I have had six managers since I joined the club and I am still here."

The 29-year-old is loving life in the Steel City, saying: "I have been here so long it is basically my second home.

"I feel good here and comfortable. There is nothing missing for me."