Salut! Sunderland continues to be impressed by Steve Bruce’s close season shopping exploits.
We’d love to reproduce the photo of Bruce with one of the latest new signings, Craig Gardner, showing our acquisition from Birmingham City looking suspiciously like Niall Quinn. But we’ d only have the heavies from the Football Data Co down our throats if we did so you will have to go to the offical club site for that.
Here is what Bruce had to say about the signing – for one of those idiotic “undisclosed” fees (reports say £4.5m and SAFC can have no complaints if that”s wrong) – of the 24-year-old midfielder, who scored 10 goals last season, not bad in struggling side:
“Despite Birmingham’s relegation last season, Craig had a very strong season and has shown that he is more than capable of making a real impression in the Barclays Premier League. Despite being only 24, Craig already has almost 150 games’ worth of experience in senior football so he brings a good blend of youthfulness and know-how which is vital at this level.
“He has wonderful energy and enthusiasm for the game and that will stand us in good stead as we plan for the start of the new season. One thing I highlighted last season was the need to get more goals from midfield and in Craig we’ve got a player who’s certainly able to do that.”
On the £2m Ji Dong-Won transfer – after a saga that went on so long we’d almost forgotten about him coming – Bruce had this to say: “The boy has been in fantastic form for both club and country and he was one of South Korea’s stand-out performers at the Asian Cup so we are delighted to bring him to Sunderland.
“The Barclays Premier League is very different to the K-League so there is hard work ahead but you just have to look at players like Park Ji-Sung and Lee Chung-Yong to see how well Korean players are adapting to its pace and physicality. I believe Ji can be an excellent acquisition and he has certainly impressed us over the long period we have been watching him.”
Dong-Won is 20 and arrives on Wearside from Chunnam Dragons. We wish him and Craig Gardner every success at the Sol where, with other recruits on the cards, exciting times appear to lie ahead.
* See Mrs Logic’s Flickr photos, including loads of strong Sunderland or North-eastern interest, at this link.