There has been a lot of transfer activity to reflect on already this summer, writes Stephen Goldsmith. We all expected a total overhaul, to be fair, and the appointments of Roberto De Fanti and Valentino Angeloni certainly suggested that we’d be generally looking abroad for our new a acquisitions. One potential signing in particular stands out in terms of quality, according to those in the know, while one potential outgoing transfer has me especially curious…
Transfer ‘saga’ will be worth it the end
What would a transfer window be without a good old saga or two?
It has become commonplace for us Sunderland supporters to have to endure on/off pursuits of desired players over the course of the summer.
Martin O’Neill’s laid back approach to the acquisition of Steven Fletcher was necessary last year, to prevent Wolves obtaining a simply ludicrous fee for the Scottish striker.
We had a similar stand off with Spurs for the signing of Darren Bent in 2009 before eventually managing to loosen the Daniel Levy grip, tightened by his gold laden gloves somewhat. But you cant help think that this year’s pursuit of Gino Peruzzi has to bear fruit for it not to be an almost identical situation to the regrettable failure to capture Leighton Baines in 2007.
Many people were curious as to why Roy Keane was prepared to offer a hefty sum for a fullback on the back of a promotion season, yet few can look at the way his career has progressed since his move to Everton and lament that the move didn’t happen.
Baines was always destined to go to the top, of course, and taking in reports and opinion from trusted sources, whether it be very respected journalists or simply South American football enthusiasts, it appears that Peruzzi is expected to do the same. I understand that some people are alarmed at talk of the Argentinian seemingly demanding more money, especially so fresh and hot on the heels of Phil Bardsley’s casino antics. But considering Di Canio’s attitudes to such matters, it seems that whatever Gino (or his agent) was requesting wasn’t so bad that the move would collapse because of it.
And that really is good news. Because with the moves for Orban and Mendy falling through and a move for Danny Rose seeming increasingly unlikely, we hardly need the same problem to present itself on the right hand side of the defence.
All knowledge yours truly possesses about Gino Peruzzi comes solely from other people, but they themselves keep reiterating that he really would be the “one that got away” if this saga ended up with the Black Cats not collaring their man.
And that’s good enough for me. At around £3m he’s also considerably less than Leighton Baines would have been five years ago and here’s hoping that this one eventually gets over the line.
The curious case of Jack Colback
Pablo Di Canio has spoken highly of Jack, as indeed has every manager he’s worked with. Jack’s decision to turn down a contract offer leaves more questions than answers to me. Few could argue that moving away from a club to seek regular football is a reasonable act of progression by any player. But when we realistically weigh up the type of club that could unquestionably offer Jack this prospect, you have to wonder why he isn’t prepared to at least give it one last push to force himself into the midfield this season.
Had O’Neill still been at the helm, there’d be no debate here but you just can’t help feel that without the pressure of relegation that Di Canio is there to be impressed pre-season.
A popular opinion is that this hidden, dominant player is just waiting to burst out of Colback, But if that’s true, then now is the perfect time for him to introduce himself. If the former academy captain lacks the self-belief to consider himself to have a future here, or resigns himself to the fact that he won’t play in a desired midfield role then this does nothing more than explain his introverted nature on the field. The time to make himself noticed should be now.
Then we have the other side of the theory. Many sources claim that the decision to turn down the contract is down to the fact that his wages are lower than his counterparts’. That too would be understandable. But we can suggest the very opposite of the previous argument, that Colback will happily stay and be a bit part player as long as he is financially rewarded for it. Where’s your ambition to go and play regularly somewhere, Jack lad? It’s a curious one.