Thursday, March 30, 2023

Sunderland Linked With Yet Another Ligue 1 Defender: Will He Add Any Value To The Team?

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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).

There has been a plenty of managerial changes over the years at Sunderland but their fortunes have remained the same. Sam Allardyce being snapped up by the English national team (before leaving his post ignominiously) this summer opened the door for David Moyes to reclaim his lost glory but the Scot has so far failed to do that.

After his failed stints with Manchester United and Real Sociedad, the Sunderland job was an opportunity for Moyes to once again show that he is still a top manager. However, the early days of the Scot at the Stadium of Light suggests that it will be another long and hard season for the Wearside club.

According to reliable media house Chronicle Live, Sunderland have been offered Bordeaux left-back Maxime Poundje. The 24-year-old Frenchman has been at the Ligue 1 club since 2011 but could never establish himself as the first-choice for the Ligue 1 giants. With the market so inflated for English players, France has recently been the hunting ground for Premier League clubs and Sunderland also have good experience of poaching players from France.

The Black Cats signed both Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri from France in the last transfer window and the duo played integral roles in Sunderland’s survival last time out. Moyes wanted to once again explore the options in French football this summer but had to settle for only Didier N’dong. The Black Cats are in dire need of a left-back now as Moyes wants Patrick van Aanholt to operate in a more advanced role.

Bordeaux's French defender Maxime Poundje (L) vies with Ricardo Pereira (L) during the French L1 football match Nice (OGC Nice) vs Bordeaux (GB) on September 23, 2015 at the "Allianz Riviera" stadium in Nice, southeastern France. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

After van Aanholt, the Black Cats have no natural senior cover for the role, with under-23 Tommy Robson the only other natural left-back, while Jason Denayer filled in there at the weekend. Van Aanholt was never a full-back who boasts strong defensive abilities and Moyes would definitely want his new left-back to be defensively compact. However, Poundje is a left-back of a similar mould when compared to the Dutchman.

Whoscored points out Poundje’s concentration and tackling as his weaknesses while his strengths according to the same statistics specials are dribbling and crossing. The Frenchman looks nothing less than a recipe for a disaster.

Moyes desperately needs a left-back who can shore up his leaky defence, not someone who bombs forward making his team vulnerable defensively.

Poundje’s passing success this season has been just 75.9% which is far from impressive. His defensive statistics are far from desired too. The 24-year-old has made an average of 0.7 tackles, 2 interceptions and 3 clearances every game this season. David Moyes should forget about the player and instead look for players who are defensively much more solid rather than sign players who won’t add much quality to the back line.

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