Thursday, February 2, 2023

What Will Sunderland Be Getting From This New Recruit?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Sunderland are finally up and running in the transfer market having acquired the services of former Manchester United manager David Moyes to lead the club into the next season. The new manager is trying to get deals done quickly with just a week left for the start of the new season and has been linked with a number of players from England and Europe recently. However, it is now revealed that David Moyes has completed his first signing of the summer having completed a deal for Chelsea’s Papy Djilobodji for £8million. The 27-year old moved to Chelsea from Nantes just a year ago and spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Werder Bremen. So what will the new signing offer David Moyes next season?

Having played more than 150 games for Nantes in 5 seasons, the Senegalese international came into the Chelsea side as a reputed and experienced central defender who can also play as a defensive midfielder. He is a strong, athletic centre-half who is surprisingly dominating in the air. He has a good sense of the game and is known for numerous interceptions in dangerous areas. He never shies away from a tackle and is ready to put his body on the line for his team on every occasion. In his 16 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit in all competitions last season, Djilobodji picked up 2 goals and also an assist showing his threat in the final third, mostly from set-pieces.

He is also comfortable with the ball at his feet and is not afraid to dribble past opponents in his own half while his accuracy with air balls is also commendable. However, when needed, he is a no-nonsense defender as he takes no chance under pressure situations. He has all the makings of a successful center back in Europe which has seen him snapped up by the new manager at the Stadium of Light. He has so far played just the one League Cup match for Chelsea and has no real experience in the English league but his time at the Bridge will have given him enough to understand and adjust to the conditions in the country.

At Sunderland, Yann M’Vila, who played at Sunderland on loan from Rubin Kazan in the last season is also expected complete a permanent transfer in the coming days and is expected to start at the heart of the defense next season after his impressive performance in the previous campaign. John O’Shea and Younes Kaboul, the two other players often used in this position by Sam Allardyce in the previous season, were not able to impress consistently and were at times a liability against tough opponents. So Djilobodji is expected to start games for the club on a regular basis next season. He may not be able to set the field on fire and help Sunderland turn into a top-of-the-table club but Djilobodji is a more than a decent addition to the squad who will reduce the panic in the fans when their team is defending. What do you think Djilobodji will add to Moyes’ squad at Sunderland?

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