Et bienvenue à El Hadji Ba, nouveau chat noir

Another from Jake's new series
Another from Jake’s new series

It’s getting hard to keep track but as well as brighter news on the Gino Peruzzi front – he likes the look of an improved pay offer and is reportedly heading for Sunderland with a view to completing his signing – the club has confirmed the arrival of El Hadji Ba.

The French Under-20 international joins from Le Havre. They’re a Ligue 2 side but Ba, a 20-year-old midfielder, is a much talked-about prospect.

We thought we were getting his young teammate Benjamin Mendy, too, but he’s opted for Marseille instead despite having been assured that the North Sea has vastly more appeal than the Mediterranean.

I have tweeted Mendy to let him know he should come knocking at our door again once he’s ready for a bigger challenge. “Like staying up?” replied an impertinent Marseille fan.

Allez le nouveau chat noir; bienvenue, bonne chance et bon courage! I’ll leave the (on hold) Spanish welcome to Gino to Jake or others …



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19 thoughts on “Et bienvenue à El Hadji Ba, nouveau chat noir”

  1. No ones mentioned the guys PDC has working for him – something like 6 Italians from DOF , chief scout to fitness coach – all highly respected in the game .
    \well done to Short , lets hope his vision reaps dividends I am looking forward to next season immensly , \i think Altidore could turn out the best bit of business in this transfer window

    • Ah Davey man! I’ve already said the best bit of transfer business the club has done this summer is getting £2 million for Elmo!

      • Malcolm, have to agree. He was just about the most ineffective player that I have seen in a SAFC shirt [ and he dosen’t lack competition! ]

  2. This close season is far more exciting than the bulk of last season. If, when the real football starts its half as good as this then we’re in for a treat.
    P.S. Coventry’ s continuing slow and painful demise should give us even more to savour.

  3. Quite excited now, looks like we are about to sign an Italian international from Juventus. I think a fair few mackems probably thought we’d never see that happening without a rich arab at the helm so well done SAFC. I thought Colback would be a lifer too, be really disappointed if we let him leave.

  4. Sess was brilliant last few games last season,and I hope he does stay,he must love seeing all this new continental talent coming in…a few more French speakers has got to help him settle a bit more.

  5. 5 goals for Sess in the firsthalf hour last night. OK, only a no-fans friendly, but it does show what he’s capable of

  6. Ian says “One thing that no-one has mentioned is the fact that Wes Brown is back.” Amidst all the excitement of the busiest and most intriguing close season I can remember it is easy to forget we have one or two decent players still at the club.

    Sess (if we don’t get a big offer for him), Fletcher, Larsson, Johnson, O’Shea will all still have roles to play. Wickham, Vaughan, Graham, Gardner, McClean and N’Diaye may rise to the challenge or may end up sidelined or discarded.

    I am finding reports of Colback’s refusal to sign a new deal disappointing. If these are true and he has no interest in a new and improved deal, which he deserves, then I fear he will be on his way out. If he does go then in my opinion his departure will be much more deserving of the type of criticisms some supporters levelled at Mignolet.

    • I am not so sure about Larsson’s form last season. He lost a bit of form I feel, and central midfield is not his no.1 position. N’Daiye looked to improve after seeming lost for his first few games, but he’s got a way to go.

      Wickham has got to do an Altidore and show hunger and improve substantially. He’s got the raw talent but needs to work like a dog and be determined to break into the 1st team.

      Sess I hope stays, but he always looks a little unsettled and sulky, the type that’ll never be happy. Great on his day, but anonymous off it. Still, if anyone has a bit of a game-changing trick in his locker , its Sess.

      Vaughn and Gardner, – good lads but IMHO not quite good enough. Mcclean will probably be benched.
      Colback, I share you disappointment. I thought, if anyone, he’d be red & white for life.

  7. Talk tonight of Rose and Huddlestone signing – hopefully not Tim Rose and Bishop Trevor Huddlestone.
    Aimed at those of mature years.

  8. bienvenue ! je serai aussi content si m.peruzzi arrive cette semaine.
    But, will this Ba go straight into our first team? I doubt it. But good to hear of more signings this week. I hope we get Peruzzi this week, and that Giarrcheri (sp?) sson. Although £10m does sound a bit high for a non-prem tested 28yr old midfielder.

    I have to admit ignorance as to these signings except for Altidore. Either this is going to be a good, exciting-to-watch Sunderland side next season, or a team of strangers struggling with an inexperienced manager.

    Paulo’s team transplant project continues!

    • Looks like your going to get your wish regarding Mr Peruzzi.

      Exciting times at the Sol. Just compare this summer transfer window to last years…….oh no its the hope I can’t stand!

      • Let’s sober this up by pondering this scenario: that its entirely possible that a team of non-Prem exposed strangers who speak different languages take a Steve-Bruce-like amount of time to adapt to the Premier League and lose a majority of their opening games with an inexperienced hot-head Italian manager who is capable of alienating the entire dressing room in a heartbeat. And then the whole season becomes a game of “catch-up” and relegation avoidance.

        Or, the more encouraging scenario: Altidore hits the ground running with Fletch and our midfield becomes un-bossable with a right back who is good enough to mark Neymar out of two games and Danny Rose comes back to the SOL. And we don’t miss Migs at all since Westwood finds great form.

      • Being Sunderland, historically I would tend to gravitate towards the first scenario.

        But our luck, destiny, karma, every dog has its day etc. has to change some time and it would be fitting bearing in mind the bold steps we are taking that it was now.

        At any rate at least we are trying something different and I for one could not go through the dross that we have served up for the last three seasons again, with the same old tired excuses.

        We have an opportunity hear and it is up to the manager and players to take it. It is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all. I think if we fail it will not be due to a lack of effort from PDC, what more can you ask of anyone!

      • PDC’s brought his own men in and these continental types are probably more likely to devote themselves to his style of management.

        One thing that no-one has mentioned is the fact that Wes Brown is back. He’s like a new signing. When he’s on form and fit, there are few better natural defenders. Its good to see him back. Although my hopes of him staying fit hang by the finest of threads. He’ll probably trip over a water bottle in pre-season training and fracture his metatarsal.

        I feel for Ellis Short somewhat. He’s seen money pumped hand over fist into the club for years with little to show for i (we still were relegation candidates last season).

        At least this time we’re managing to clear out a lot of players whilst getting in newer, higher quality ones. We’ll see…

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