Forgotten man Charles N’Zogbia has been reportedly offered a Premier League lifeline by Sunderland. The 30-year old who has been training with the Black Cats during the course of the pre-season under the recommendation of former boss Sam Allardyce has supposedly impressed with his dedication and displays during training and the pre-season matches. The former Wigan Athletic and Newcastle ‘star’ is a free agent after running down his contract at relegated Aston Villa. While he was inducted into the training camp on the behest of Big Sam who worked successfully with the player while at Newcastle United, he seems to have impressed the new manager as well. It is opined that the exiting boss put in a good word about his former protégé.
Moyes has recently been appointed by Ellis Short after five previous attempts. In the aftermath of his disastrous Manchester United spell, he was offered a chance to redeem himself at Sunderland but chose to move to Spain with Real Sociedad. He was again approached by Short in October after Advocaat offered to resign. But Moyes was determined to recover from a faltering start at Real Sociedad and avoid a second failure in such quick succession. But Short turned to Big Sam in a fortnight and Moyes faced the ignominy of a second dismissal in a span of 19 months.
Both of them finally meet and in similar treacherous circumstances, with Sunderland thirsty for a semblance of stability after another set-back and Moyes licking his wounds with his image blemished after disastrous spells at Manchester United and Sociedad.
While Moyes has repeatedly been linked with Januzaj and Fellaini, his first signing might well be N’Zogbia. The French international is a Premier League veteran having spent his whole career in England.
After a protracted saga involving the threat of a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Newcastle paid a fee in the region of £250,000 to sign N’Zogbia from Le Havre, as a compensation for youth development cost. He was the last player to be signed by the late Sir Bobby Robson who later described him being a superstar in the future if nurtured properly. He had long stints at Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa and has impressed at both the clubs.
But in the last season with Villa he fell out of favour and just had 2 appearances during the entire campaign. He is well known to the Premier League fans and his wealth of experience would come in handy. He can play across the front-line and is particularly adept at dribbling and set-pieces. Though he is unlikely to start week-in week-out, he will look to work hard and push on from the impressive pre-season.
While Charles may not be the glamorous signing the fans were expecting, he will certainly add depth to the squad.