Thursday, March 30, 2023

One Of Sunderland’s Weaknesses Could Be Rectified If Moyes Signs This Attacker

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Sunderland are still winless after three Premier League games but finally salvaged a point against Southampton. The David Moyes era at the Stadium of Light has started in a rather slow manner but we can hardly blame the Scot for that. The Black Cats have not utilised the summer transfer window too much and an injury crisis has made things worse for the manager once touted as the ‘Chosen One’ by Manchester United fans. Sunderland have just one point from three games now and if things do not improve really soon, it might be another long hard season for the Wearsiders amidst the relegation scrap.

The Daily Star claims that Sunderland are interested in bringing Benfica winger Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez before the transfer window slams shut. The 27-year-old is not particularly a key player at Benfica and a switch from one Stadium of Light to another could bring his career back to life. A gifted winger, the 27-year-old has the quality to offer a lot to the toothless attack of the Black Cats and if Moyes can pull off this signing, it could prove to be a masterstroke.

Born and brought up in Liege, Belgium, the winger is a product of Standard Liege’s famed youth academy and was a key player of the Belgian giants before his big-money move to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011. He joined his boyhood club Standard Liege again in 2013 and then moved to Benfica last summer. After failing to make the grade with the Portuguese giants, Gonzalez now has been made available for transfer and Sunderland are not the only side interested in the 27-year-old.

Benfica's Brazilian forward Jonas Oliveira (R) celebrates with his teammate Benfica's Belgian midfielder Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez after scoring during the Portuguese League Cup semi-final football match SL Benfica vs SC Braga at Luz stadium on May 2, 2016. / AFP / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Benfica’s Brazilian forward Jonas Oliveira (R) celebrates with his teammate Benfica’s Belgian midfielder Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez after scoring during the Portuguese League Cup semi-final football match SL Benfica vs SC Braga at Luz stadium on May 2, 2016. / AFP / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

A winger who can feature on either flank, Gonzalez is a winger who likes to take on defenders with his exceptional ability to dribble past a resolute defence. Predominantly left-footed, the 27-year-old has a decent right foot as well can pick out his teammates with his nice vision.

Throughout his career, Gonzalez has never been a regular goal threat but he is a player who can create plenty of opportunities for his teammates. Even though he did not have a solid season at Benfica last term, he still set up seven goals for his team from just 1311 minutes on the pitch. Capped twice for Belgium and seven times for Morocco, the 27-year-old comes with an impressive CV and will definitely add plenty of firepower to the Sunderland attack.

The current set of Sunderland wide players are Watmore, Januzaj and Khazri. Watmore and Januzaj lack experience and Khazri is not a player Moyes really likes. So, Gonzalez would be a shrewd addition to the team. With Defoe in stunning form again, adding an agile player like Gonzalez could make Sunderland a more potent counter-attacking unit.

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