Sunderland had a slow start to the summer transfer window but the reason behind that was the managerial situation at the Stadium of Light. Sam Allardyce joined the Black Cats last season while the Mackems were struggling in the danger zone. Big Sam, as he always does, saved another underperforming Premier League side from relegation but was lured away by the English national team this summer to replace Roy Hodgson.
The Wearside club appointed David Moyes as the successor of Allardyce and the former Manchester United, in his very short time at the club, has first improved the backline. Sunderland have completed the signings of Manchester United defensive pair Paddy McNair and Donald Love for a combined fee of £5.5m.
The two 21-year-old defenders follow Papy Djilobodji to the Stadium of Light as Moyes looks to sort out the defensive problems of the squad first. Paddy McNair is a decent addition to the Black Cats with his versatility of being capable of plying his trade either as a centre-back, right-back or a defensive midfielder. The Northern Irishman had a breakthrough season at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal in 2014 but failed to build on it last season.
Donald Love, a Scottish under-21 international, is a right-back by trait and had just two first-team appearances for the Red Devils till date. The Scotsman is yet to make his name at the bigger stage and it’s a bit surprising to see Moyes moving for Love when the Black Cats needed an upgrade on Billy Jones.
Both players are well-known to Moyes from the time the Scot was managing Manchester United. We can understand the 53-year-old’s intentions for looking for players he knows. But one thing that is a bit surprising that Sunderland have been the home for unwanted Manchester United defenders over the last decade. Wes Brown, Phil Bardsley, Kieran Richardson, Danny Higginbotham, Paul McShane and of course John O’Shea (although he was not a flop at Old Trafford) – all are cases in point.
Twitter has reacted to the Sunderland sealing the double deal for McNair and Love. While the United fans bid farewells to their young prospects, there is a mixed reaction from the Sunderland fans. Here are some tweets on the deal.
— DarrenTrueBlue (@DarrenDoyleCfC) August 11, 2016
Anyone figured out who Donald Love is and why we have bought him yet? #SAFC
— Broken Papi Squishy (@TerryHobkirk) August 11, 2016
Really had alot of faith in Paddy Mcnair hope he lives up to his potential
— King.Kunta†▲ (@Dashing_JustinS) August 11, 2016
Paddy mcnair has just said in his first safc interview that he wants to win trophies, yav chose the wrong club son ! #safc
— Chris Tyzack (@christyzack) August 11, 2016
Paddy mcnair going to Sunderland has to be good for Northern Ireland as he will get more playing time.
— clockworkorange (@joedunseith) August 11, 2016
Paddy McNair was a proper player imo. Good CB with the ball at his feet. Will move to Everton/Southampton or better in a few years.
— John Raphael (@RaphaelJohn13) August 11, 2016
Sad to see Paddy McNair leaving Old Trafford, best of luck to him at Sunderland
— Sean McKeague (@TragicallyNFG) August 11, 2016
If Paddy McNair & Donald love are the type of players Sunderland are going to sign they’re in for another long hard season.
— Cameron Findlay (@Cameron_NUFC) August 11, 2016
New Sunderland signing Donald Love is only 21 but somehow he already looks like a washed up member of a 90s boyband. pic.twitter.com/OofleBizyr
— TheODDSbible (@TheOddsBible) August 11, 2016