The club’s statement made for an appropriate climax to a day or two of rich entertainment on Twitter as Jack Rodwell was spotted on Wearside, had rude jokes made about his surname and kept us waiting until this afternoon for final confirmation that he was not just on a tour of the Premier in search of the highest bidder.
The SAFC announcement said: “Sunderland have completed the signing of midfielder Jack Rodwell from Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City. The highly sought-after 23-year-old has penned a five-year deal on Wearside and joins for an undisclosed fee.”
Leave aside our quarrels with the absurdities of “undisclosed fees”, which encourage wild speculation and make it impossible for clubs to whinge if that speculation is a few million miles, or pounds, from the truth.
We heartily welcome Jack, whether or not the £10m figure is correct, as a Sunderland player whose signing says a lot about the club’s intent and ambition – and also about Gus Poyet’s powers of persuasion. Ellis Short has dug deep again, for which we must be grateful, and Lee Congerton has pulled the right strings as director of football.
Chris Young, at the Sunderland Echo, offered analysis of Rodwell’s potential value in an outstanding piece I noticed this morning. “The imminent £10m signing of Jack Rodwell is a HUGE statement of intent from Sunderland and owner Ellis Short,” he wrote.
And it won’t be the last. Borini rumours continue to circulate, as do Vergini – and other – rumours, and the next 48 hours could bring further good news. Chris Young again, describing the boss’s mood last weekend: “Poyet was like a kid at Christmas when asked about transfers. It’s easy to see why now.”
I have written at ESPN about the acquisition and will post a link here once my article has been published. I shall also need to revise the season’s preview I submitted to them last Thursday but is already out of date and likely to be more so by the time it is scheduled to appear.
For now, let us be reassured that a top English midfielder with international and Champions League experience has agreed to commit himself to the red and white cause.
This is the link: http://www.espnfc.com/club/sunderland/366/blog/post/1973786/jack-rodwell-signs-for-sunderland
If Sunderland’s summer has to some extent been a tale of two Jacks, the arrival of this one, Rodwell, overwhelms lingering disappointment at the loss of another, Colback, to Newcastle United.
Colback’s commitment and reliability will be missed. But Rodwell, a year-and-a-half younger at 23, probably has a little more to his game. With apparently unlimited purchasing power at Manchester City’s disposal, it is no shame to be considered surplus to requirements at the Etihad.
And here is more from the SAFC statement – followed by a YouTube clip:
“Rodwell rose through the ranks at Everton, making his debut at the age of 16 in a European tie against AZ Alkmaar in December 2007.
“His league bow – as a substitute against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light – came three months later before the Southport-born midfielder went on to become a regular for the Toffees.
“Rodwell, who has been capped on three occasions at senior level by England, made 109 appearances for Everton before joining Manchester City in summer 2012.
“He spent two seasons at the Etihad Stadium, during which time he represented City in the UEFA Champions League as well as the Barclays Premier League and domestic cup competitions.”