… could have kept us all on tenterhooks until a quarter of an hour before deadline. But it’s done: Sunderland AFC finally confirmed the signing of Asamoah Gyan from Rennes. Talk about cutting things fine …
Yes, we could have done with a much earlier announcement to put us all at ease.
But supporting Sunderland has always been something of a nerve-jangling experience and there must have seemed no reason to mess with that tradition. And, doubtless, every reason for the delay.
The official Sunderland site’s own transfer deadline special, timed updates throughout the day, had been buzzing all day with news from elsewhere: done deals concerning Wigan, Birmingham, Celtic (Anthony Stokes no less, joining his former SAFC teammate Daryl Murphy), Liverpool, Reading, Brighton even – and more.
Lots of references to Sunderland, of course, from outside sources – Facebook, Twitter etc – as collated by the site editor Stu Vose and his sidekick Kate Smith – and their own occasional asides about lack of news from within. But nothing concrete until this:
1746: DONE DEAL: Steve Bruce gets his man! Asamoah Gyan is officially a Black Cat.
It came just 16 minutes after the same site put the fear of the Lord into everyone with this statement appearing to deny Sky’s story that it was done deal: “Contrary to reports Sunderland AFC have not yet completed a deal for Asamoah Gyan. Officials continue to work hard behind the scenes and safc.com will bring you any confirmed news as soon as we have it.”
But in the end, whatever it was that was holding them up was holding them up no longer. He’s here. Darren Bent has a proven goalscoring partner to share the burden of banging them in.
Asamoah Gyan must now prove himself in a tougher league than Ligue 1, and the confirmed £13m+ fee seems steep. But Marouane Chamakh has already made an impression after moving from Bordeaux to Arsenal and we must hope and believe our man will do it, too.
Unless there was last-minute development, so far unreported, no one else in and – perhaps regrettably, for their sakes and ours – no one out.
The official site’s cautionary note read: ” … expect late news of deals to filter through after the deadline has passed” and, as if to prove the point, we learn later that Teemu Tainio has left the club by mutual consent, and Martyn Waghorn has gone to Leicester for £3m (which – though I am sorry to see the lad go – strikes me as being excellent business).
So thanks to Stu and Kate for the entertainment. And welcome to Wearside, Asamoah. What kept you?