He scored the equaliser on his debut in a 2007 loan spell for Rochdale, then came on against Wycombe Wanderers to score in the 80th minute, but his time at Spotland was cut short by a knee injury.
Etuhu made his first appearance for City in September 2007 against Norwich in the Carling Cup, coming off the bench to set up the winner for Georgios Samaras. His his first goal in the Premier League came against Bolton Wanderers as City won 4–2 in December.
In March 2008, he joined Leicester on loan, making his debut in a 0–0 draw against Bristol City. He managed two more starts before being dropped.
New signing David Bell's form left Etuhu to spend the remaining two months of his loan on the bench, making only brief appearances for the Foxes, who were eventually relegated.
Etuhu joined Championship side Cardiff on a season-long loan in August 2009. His debut as a replacement for Michael Chopra came in a 3–0 win over Bristol City, his first start in another Severnside derby against Bristol Rovers in the Carling Cup.
However, he damaged ankle ligaments in only his fourth appearance, a 1–0 defeat by Newcastle. He returned in November during a 2–1 defeat by Ipswich, coming on as a substitute for Chris Burke.
Etuhu made his first League start in a 2-0 win against West Brom at The Hawthorns in December, playing a key role in the opening goal scored by Burke.
He stayed a substitute for the rest of 2009, coming on for either Burke or Jay Bothroyd. An injury Etuhu suffered in training kept him sidelined for three months.
Back in action by late March, he started against Crystal Palace and Leicester as Cardiff reached the play-Off final at Wembley. But he was unable to make any impact off the bench as they lost 3-2.
Etuhu was not included in City's Premier League squad for 2010–11, and was released from his contract in March 2011.