Asamoah Gyan: a cautious welcome

Transfer deadline day and the excitement mounts. Unless things go horribly wrong – medical, gazumping etc – Asamoah Gyan should be a Sunderland player by tonight. The French daily Ouest-France, having got it wrong yesterday (saying Gyan was staying) now quotes the Rennes manager Frédéric Antonetti as confirming, after today’s training session, his departure in our direction. Let’s hope the goalscoring celebration dance in this clip will be repeated many times in our colours. Are other deals, in or out of the Stadium of Light, in the offing too?…

Of course we could just wait until 6pm, by which time there has to be a decision and therefore, presumably, an announcement.

But it wouldn’t be as much fun.

For the moment, we must simply hope that Radio Monte Carlo has better sources than the Rennes-based daily newsppaper Ouest France, which yesterday had Gyan staying with the French club for another season.

RMC Sport reports that Gyan will, barring any last-minute hitch, sign a four-year contract today at a fee of £11.5m, which sounds like crazy money but reflects today’s realities in those areas of the football transfer market where life goes on as if there were no crisis.

Will there be some outward movement to help balance the books? Was the Man United interest in Cattermole, at roughly the same price, just meaningless paper/agent talk? Will Bruce manage to offload any of the players still picking up hefty wage packets without hope of being regular members of the first team? Is young Waghorn, already getting Premier football experience, really off to Leicester? And is there still another acquisition to be made – another Rennes player, the right back Rod Fanni, has been mentioned – before the door shuts tight until January?

All will be clear tonight. With Campbell out for a long time, we need the news to be good on Gyan. Maybe John Mensah has been putting in a good word in his ear about the club, city and the region.

What is heartening is to see Sunderland AFC competing somewhere near the top of the tree in seeking to bring in world-class talent. It will then fall to Bruce to build on Sunday’s hugely encouraging win, galvanise the squad to produce equal commitment and urgency at unfashionable away grounds – starting at Wigan – and inch higher than our present 10th.

Salut! Sunderland is not a news agency and does not compete with organisations with the resources to report instant breaking news. So readers must feel free to add updates they hear about before us, or before we have time to post them.

Colin Randall

8 thoughts on “Asamoah Gyan: a cautious welcome”

  1. Great post Terry. I think Waggy should have been given a chance. He’s taken a punt with Welbeck who is relatively untried in comparison. I always like to see local lads do well (don’t we all?). I don’t know whether MW will make a PL player, but he’s young and should have been given a chance. Bruce is going with his own hunch (or that of SAF) on Welbeck and no more.

    Our academy has produced its first real crop and two of them have been sold very early on. Maybe football has changed and they are now little more than football factories producing a product to be sold to the highest bidder. I’d like to think that this situation may open the door for Ryan Noble too, but maybe that’s being too optimistic. From the little that I’ve seen of him he deserves a real chance.

  2. I’m not a fan of keeping local lads because they are local. We’d be playing Blue Square league football with what we’ve turned out over the last 40 years. That said, we’ve never been in a position to loan our youngsters out to PL clubs for experience. So we loan them out to 3rd and 4th tier football and they turn into 3rd and 4th tier players. There’s a tipping point somewhere in between and I think Waghorn is at that point.

    Take away transfer speculation, who’s in or out, injuries to Campbell etc. We’ve a lad who has come through the club to a point where he was loaned out for experience. A short spell at Charlton followed by a very successful spell at Leicester. So successful they’ll spend good money on him. That has to put him in the frame for a squad number and not a transfer.

    Surely the answer is to offer the Nobles and Chandlers of the following generation as loanees and keep Waghorn. What is the point of academies otherwise? Colback has benefitted.

    I like Waggy. Whether he’ll make it in the PL is another thing but he’s fast, strong and can play right across the front. He’s proved it at Championship level and I think we’re short-changing him by not giving him a chance. He’s under 21 so doesn’t even have to be registered as a squad player.

    We don’t want to choke the production line but selling Waghorn, right at the point where he should be given his chance, is negating the purpose of academies.

    I don’t believe academies work and I don’t think shifting Waghorn is a good move.

  3. It’s going to be a while before we know how effectively he will settle. As Salut will confirm, the difference between French football and the English league is so huge in terms of the sheer pace, physicality and comparative time that players get on the ball. The French game is pedestrian compared to what Gyan is going to come across.

    Let’s hope he settles quick and makes a big impact. I share your concerns Ian as it’s by no means a sure thing that he will be able to do it. I’m looking forward to seeing him though.

  4. Gyan’s world cup scoring ratio is good, but his club record is not so impressive apparently.
    I think its a panic buy.
    Bruce should have been a little more cautious before letting KJ go.
    Gyan is not proven prem quality and may take a little time to settle in? He’s got all the attributes though, strong, pacey so it might work out. Still, I wouldn’t value him at that price. Benty is worth a lot more and will get more goals. 7mil for Gyan is more realistic.

  5. There are strong rumours that Waghorn is leaving for Leicester. I have to say that if this is the case then I am very disappointed to see another local lad go without gettting a proper crack of the whip at Sunderland. Also, it leaves us woefully short of cover. Bruce went on record recently saying that he didnt’t want him to go, so is this Ellis Short balancing the books somewhat?

  6. Yiannis, currently only 24 players have squad numbers and the squad doesn’t need to be announced until close of play tomorrow (Sept 1st). Of those 24 players, 4 are under 21 so don’t need to be registered as squad members leaving 5 places to be allocated by tomorrow evening.

  7. This is a question actually:
    How many players have Sunderland already registered for the new season?
    Quite a few of them are left out and it doesnt seem as if they’re going anywhere (McCartney, Tainio, Healy etc).
    Actually I hope Macca doesnt go cause that means our left back cover is bardo or anton… not really excited by that prospect.

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