Paul Onuachu believes his physicality is perfectly suited to the Premier League, as Southampton’s deadline-day signing sets his sights on making his mark on Saints’ season.
The 28-year-old striker, who stands at 6ft 7in, reportedly became the league’s tallest player after signing a three-and-a-half-year deal at St Mary’s.
Onuachu, who made his debut at Brentford on Saturday, scored 85 goals in 134 appearances for former club KRC Genk in Belgium – many of them headers.
Now he hopes to use his size to get on the end of crosses in the Premier League, including James Ward-Prowse’s legendary set-pieces, to add to his impressive return of 17 goals so far this season.
“I think it had to be now or never,” Onuachu said of his dream move to England. “I think I’m at the right age and I think I had to take this challenge and test myself, to impact my team. Hopefully we do something great together.
“It’s a decision I took because coming to Southampton and playing in the Premier League, the best league in the world, I’m coming to really impact my own team – it’s something big for me in my career.
“I have always followed the Premier League, watching it week in week out, seeing the games. It’s a whole different ball game, the intensity, the duels.
“Every player dreams of playing in the Premier League, and of course I’m happy to be here. I think I have the physique, I have the height, I have the size. Let the battle begin.
“Of course it helps a lot, having this height. I’m in there with my height to make a difference in the box, so I think that’s why God gave me this height! If I have the right balls in the box, of course you can see my height will tell.
“James (Ward-Prowse) is one of the best in the league with his service and his kick, so of course I’m happy to be coming here with someone like him. I think it’s going to really help the team and me a lot.”
paul onuachuof course it helps a lot, having this height. i'm in there with my height to make a difference in the box, so i think that's why god gave me this height!
The Nigeria international is not shying away from the task facing his new club in pursuit of Premier League survival.
“I’m very motivated, it’s a huge challenge,” he added. “Coming here we are last on the table and everybody is working to really try to leave the relegation zone.
“It’s a huge challenge, not just for me but for everybody in the team. I’m going to give it all if I have the chance to play, and try to help the team to survive.”