So the speculation – now confirmed by the club – is that Kenwyne Jones is on his way out of the Stadium of Light. Good thing, bad thing? We’ve promoted the story back to the top of the site because of the interest it has generated …
Looking back, we can allow ourselves to say what a shame we didn’t accept silly money from Spurs for Kenwyne Jones. The papers said £20m was offered. That may have been an exaggeration but certainly a great deal of money was at stake.
And odd flashes aside, what has he done for us since then?
With dissenting voices, Salut! Sunderland strongly supported Kenwyne, believing – as Steve Bruce did – that on his day he was, indeed, a £20m player. Those days, sadly, became rarities and, while we know too much cannot be deduced from the pre-season friendlies Bruce hates so much, he has been awful by all accounts.
It is no surprise, then, if his market value has shrunk. At £9m from Stoke, assuming that to be an accurate figure (though the £7m quoted elsewhere begins to trigger alarm bells) , we are probably getting more than we’d be likely to expect again.
That said, Sunderland simply cannot afford to rely on Darren Bent reproducing his goalscoring heroics of last season. Lose Jones and we have painfully thin strike support, Fraizer Campbell’s promising warm-up apart. And with Bent struggling with injury, the first game against Birmingham begins to look difficult.
Unless Bruce has someone lined up, whose arrival is a pre-condition of Jones’s exit. That someone could be Danny Welbeck from Manchester United, and we’ll have to see a) if he comes and b) if he is close to being the finished product.
And Kenwyne Jones? A “friend” has rubbished the reported claim of another “friend” that he “no longer feels that Sunderland’s ambitions match his own”, saying: “Kenwyne is furious that someone would say his ambitions don’t match Sunderland’s.”
So we should be able to leave aside the humorous suggestion that Stoke may be regarded as a bigger, more ambitious club. He just wants away.
Good luck to him if he goes – provided he doesn’t do that old ex-Sunderland player trick of waiting until he plays us to show himself at his best.
And are you listening, Steve, about the need for strike power in his place?
* Usual thanks to A Love Supreme for consent to reproduce the caricature