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 safc.com 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.