Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Sunderland Willing To Spend A Record £17m For Midfielder – Is He Worth The Massive Money?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

It’s deadline day and there’s bound to be some frenetic last minute moves happening in some parts of England today. Sunderland manager David Moyes would be a busy man today for the club has identified the player to bolster their central midfield which has not seen any incomings so far but is in need of one. The chosen player is Lorient midfielder, Didier N’dong. Actually, the Black Cats are in need of a goalkeeper, defender and a striker also but it has so far been tough for Moyes to close deals and convince the players to make a move to the Stadium of Light.

A move for N’dong is a sensible one considering the fact that M’Vila has returned to Kazan after the end of his loan spell and his return looks very unlikely. There’s an urgent need of getting someone in who can provide the industry in the midfield. The 22-year-old Gabon International is the ideal man for that kind of job.

Having made his professional debut for Tunisian club CS Sfaxien in 2011, the player made 18 appearances for his side as they won the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 the next season. His performances earned him a move to French side Lorient in the winter of 2015.

Lorient's Gabonese midfielder Didier Ndong (C) vies with Bordeaux' Jeremy Menez (R) during the friendly football match Bordeaux vs Lorient on August 3, 2016 in Sarzeau, western France. / AFP / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
Lorient’s Gabonese midfielder Didier Ndong (C) vies with Bordeaux’ Jeremy Menez (R) during the friendly football match Bordeaux vs Lorient on August 3, 2016 in Sarzeau, western France. / AFP / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

After impressing in his first full season at the club, where he featured 34 times in Ligue 1, the 22-year-old has shown that he has the ability to compete at a higher level. N’dong is an excellent passer of the ball and has the ability to switch the play with his long balls and diagonals, something which always comes in handy in the Premier League.

The Gabon international’s average defensive actions of 2.2 successful interceptions and 2.8 tackles per 90 minutes also highlight the solidity he would be bringing to the squad making it harder to conjure up attacks against them. Last season he scored 2 goals and assisted another one, Sunderland would love to have that from their deep midfield.

According to the report in French daily L’Equipe, Sunderland are poised to make a club-record bid of £17m and the midfielder who has 18 caps for his country has reportedly left his international training camp in order to travel to London to finalise the move.

At the moment it seems like the move has a high probability of happening and getting N’dong in would be an excellent move as he would be linking up with his former teammate in Lamine Kone which can help him settle down quickly and might also help the defender quash the uncertainties about his own future at the club and settle the problems with Sunderland’s deep midfield. It certainly looks like a brilliant piece of business by Moyes and can be a deadline day classic at the Stadium of Light.

Stats via Squawka

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