Monsieur Salut writes: at around 8pm, I switched on my phone after landing at Stansted, noticed the signing of George Dobson had been announced and prepared to write our usual welcoming piece on the train into London. Fat chance. The sun had come out and there were no trains. Nor any notice to that effect obviously visible in arrivals so passengers had to traipse all the way down to the platform only to be sent back to the terminal to queue for National Express tickets and then traipse one floor back down to locate the coach station. It was a grim ride into the capital. Probably unfair to blame Brexit but I’ll doubtless find a way. But here’s the delayed welcome …
The term “undisclosed fee” seems among the most moronic in football. That is what we have paid Walsall for George Dobson, according to both clubs.
So everyone sooner or later speculates (or gets a reliable steer). The Northern Echo apparently suggested that Walsall wanted £2m and we know, or believe, Sunderland’s initial bid was turned down flat where the improved offer was readily accepted.
Make of that what you will. If the true figure is a lot less, or more, than that, and the truth actually matters to anyone, the clubs will have only themselves to blame.
All that said, it appears a good acquisition. And with not the least disrespect to the people who arrived on frees or as free agents, there is something comforting about wanting a player enough to pay a proper League One sort of sum. for him.
He’s 6ft 1in, a central midfielder aged just 21 and emerged from the Arsenal and West Ham schoolboy and youth schemes. We needed height in that area and the obvious question that arises is which of the many players now jostling for position in that general area will now be sold or allowed otherwise to leave.
Reportiong on the three-year deal, safc.com says Dobson’s experience also
includes a six-month spell in the Eredivisie with Sparta Rotterdam. Jack Ross believes he has always demonstrated quality, maturity and leadership.
“After returning to Walsall, Dobson made a further 65 appearances in all competitions for Dean Keates’s side, while also regularly captaining the club during the 2018-19 campaign,” says the club site.
Dobson himself said:
‘It’s been a long few weeks, so to finally get the deal done is a dream come true. I played in the same league last year, but the difference in facilities is frightening, so the opportunity to use them every day to improve my game is something I’m really looking forward to. I always play with pride and passion, and I can’t wait to get started.’
A warm welcome from Salut! Sunderland, George, whatever we’ve paid for you …