Salut! Sunderland welcomes Paddy McNair and Donald Love from Manchester United

Salut! Sunderland is delighted to extend a warm welcome to Paddy McNair and Donald Love, our latest new recruits, whose much-touted transfers were finally announced by SAFC today.

None of the usual “undisclosed fee” nonsense; the club itself is happy to state the price – £5.5m to Manchester United for the pair, and you can bet your bottom dollar, pound or euro that the cost of the more experienced McNair took up the lion’s share of that total.

McNair, a Northern Ireland international, is naturally a centre back while Love, a Scottish Under 21 who made his MUFC debut as a sub against us in February, is most comfortable at right back. At least that is what I had been led to believe. McNair has now told the club site midfield – where Love can also play – is his best position.

Our new boss, David Moyes, tells the two defenders are the sort of young players he wants to develop and improve at Sunderland and also reflects his desire to bring as many internationals to the club as possible.

Moyes said: “I want to add some young players to the squad as well as some senior players and both of them have got really good potential and the opportunity to improve. I want to bring in players who are here for the long-term as well as the short and hopefully these two are here for the long-term.”

Our welcome to both players as they start their four-year contracts is undiluted by the dismay many of us feel about the Lamine Koné saga, which rumbles on. McNair and Love must be judged only on how they fare at SAFC and not in any way on the basis of being possible replacements for a much-admired player.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

16 thoughts on “Salut! Sunderland welcomes Paddy McNair and Donald Love from Manchester United”

  1. And now the BBC is reporting that Kone has expressed a desire to leave Sunderland because of Moyes’s apparent lack of interest in keeping him. I’d love to know what’s been going on behind the scenes. And, given that this seems unlikely to be resolved today, whether Moyes will give Kone a start tomorrow.

    • Kone is on a contract and says he will give his all for the club.

      Moyes’ presser this afternoon pinged it straight back to Kone’s agent. He says we know what he was offered from SAFC. He will be offered a new contract on Sept 1st.

      To me his new contract will be an enhancement on his current. If he wants to chase the money let him go for the max we can get. It’s the Bent/Gyan scenario all over again.

      I think he’ll stay unless it’s stupid money or the club know of another £5m in, £20m out centre back they’ve lined up.

  2. To all Salut Sunderland readers (and writers) and all Sunderland fans…Enjoy the forthcoming season, it should be interesting.

  3. Kone is a mercenary….it’s Bent and Gyan all over again. Let’s assume a new contract was discussed by Sam. Why does this have to be on the table by August 12th? Surely our priorities have to be strengthening the squad/team and preparing for the season. Kone has exploited Eveton’s interest rather than waiting till, say, September to discuss his contract. For me he can go…..and we denounce his agent publicly…..time to take a stance against the parasites.

    • Agreed Neil. I heard on BBC News this morning that Kone says he wants to leave Sunderland [ coded language for ” I want to earn more money “.

      Mercenary is the correct word, and sadly, he is one of many these days.

      His heart will not be in it now, and the sooner he goes the better, if that is the case. I only want players who want to play for us, and he clearly doesn’t.

  4. Back to the article and as much as I welcome the arrival of McNair and Love, both 21 years old and hopeful of developing here, what does it say about our development of our own academy players?

    We seem to have too many at the ‘needs introduction to first team football’ stage to accommodate.

    Match day squads will be interesting this season and if we perform as in previous seasons there’ll be a few hearts in mouths games.

    • Terry – McNair and Love are just a little further up the development chain. One is an international, and the other was close to breaking into, arguably, the best squad of players in the PL.

      I’d say that they will both be squad players at Sunderland, but ones who can confidently slot into first team football when needed.

      Watmore and Pickford are in a similar position, and some of the other younger players are [ hopefully ] on the cusp.

      IMO this is the sort of scenario that we need at SAFC. I think David Moyes will still try to secure M’Vila if he is willing, and in addition bring in another striker and another Midfielder if M’Vila doesn’t arrive.

      Given that situation, I think we will be pretty well equipped for the season.

      In regard to the Kone situation, I withhold opinion. I would like to know more about the actual circumstances. I think agents are responsible for a lot of the behind the scenes machinations in football these days, and I don’t think any manager or owner can allow the club to be held to ransom [ if that is the case ] and I wouldn’t have much respect for anyone that did.

      • Well said. I think we are about three players away from having a decent squad….Mvila, Janujaz and another striker…..providing of course we keep Kone.

        I wonder if the M’Vila deal is being held up due to FIFA financial fair play rules and will go through when we get Mavrias, Gomez , Bridcutt and possibly Lens, who has been linked with Besiktas, off the payroll.

        Who knows? Not the press for a start

  5. I know that there’s been a bit of reversal of public sentiment about Moyes, even though the team has yet to play its first game of the season, but you have feel some sympathy for him. He’s trying to pull off a very tricky balancing act and I imagine he doesn’t want that same public sentiment to be seen as influencing his choices for the squad. But would improving Kone’s contract at this point really make SAFC seem like a soft touch? Or simply a club out to field the strongest team it can muster? I would hate to see Everton allowed to snaffle Kone away simply so we can maintain some dubious reputation for being hard-nosed negotiators.
    And then there’s the cynical side of me that sees Kone staying at the SoL… and having a disastrous season. Great expectations often lead to great disappointments. I’m not saying it’s a likely scenario but I can’t altogether banish it from my mind. It’s happened before.

    • Bill I’m trying to make sense of the situation. As a fan it would seem like good business to

      a) have tied in Kone and Kirchhoff with improved deals as they have proved they have what it takes. Defoe and Mannone were given improved contracts.

      and b) have signed M’Vila and Yedlin for the same reasons.

      Then we would have had a settled team that looked so good at the back end of last season.

      In the past we have had too many players brought in on expensive long term deals who have actually hindered progress rather than aided it We still have Bridcutt and Mavrias eating into the wages budget and you can bet the club is still paying at least half of Buckley and Matthews’ salaries.

      Can’t believe how long it is taking to sort out the Alvarez situation either. That may still end up being another expensive escapade.

      What we know is that Moyes isn’t Allardyce and will have different ideas. What we don’t know is how much Moyes’s plan is being hindered by the owner’s policy as implemented by the Chief Exec..

      • Agree with both your points, Malcolm. And yes, Moyes isn’t Allardyce. But surely it would have made more sense for the moves Allardyce had started to make to be completed and for Moyes, who is a very talented and experienced manager, to work with them. No manager taking over a team can expect (or should be expected) to start with a roster that is all his own. And he must surely have known coming in what his relationship with Short was going to be — difficult or otherwise.
        I’m still optimistic about the season and I think we might just come away from ManCity with at least one point. I’m pleased to see Phil McNulty on the BBC website predicting a 13th place finish for the Cats. Lucky for some…

  6. Not sure about today but he did train yesterday when his agent aid he would be available for Saturday. Since then, though, there’s been his comment about having been “promised a new contract”, implying he hasn’t been offered one. Merseyside media still expect him to sign for Everton

    • I think the telling statement from Moyes is “I want to bring in players who are here for the long term” which suggests he is frustrated with the Kone situation. I can imagine a scenario where his agent is seeking a much improved contract while the club is not wishing to be seen as a soft touch.

    • This is all,getting messy and is starting to sound like Kone and his agent are trying it on.

      I feel sure ,given his performances and the fact that we avoided relegation the club would honour any of the promises they made which persuaded him to join us….I seem to recall he wasn’t that keen in the first instance.

      I suppose every player has a price and if he wants to go and we can get £20 million for him then let him go.

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