Sunderland- January Transfer Window Week 1


Hugh Larkin

Hugh Larkin has a definite policy to support underdogs. Can be relied upon to support any team against Real Madrid and hopes one day to see Walsall as the top West Midland side....
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08/01/2008 11:00:00.
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Sunderland are one team that certainly needed a boost from the January Transfer Window and Roy Keane delivered immediately by tying up another loan deal for Manchester Unitedís Jonny Evans.

Evans has been a target for a number of clubs, either as a loan or permanent signing but Keaneís Old Trafford connections won out again. The significance of Evans arrival is that he performed brilliantly for the Black Cats in a loan spell last season.

Though he can play at full back it would be no surprise to see Evans deployed as a central defender because the players in those slots are low on confidence at the moment.His reappearance should provide a boost to everyone at the club.

Sunderland have been less successful with their other major move. Keane would like to prise Robbie Savage from Ewood Park but with Aaron Mokoena away for up to 5 weeks at the African Nations Cup, Mark Hughes is unlikely to want to help his former team mate.

Savage is clearly unsettled by not playing regularly though thereís no suggestion he wants to leave Blackburn other than to get more game time. Itís easy to see why Roy Keane wants him- Savage may annoy opposition fans but heís the man for a battle and the Sunderland boss is big on Ďcharacterí in his players.

Stephen Hunt of Reading would fit the Keane blueprint. First heís Irish, so the manager will have a lot of knowledge about him, second heís a battler (maybe too much so for some) and third he works extremely hard.

There has been a lot of speculation that Hunt will leave Reading and the Black Cats havenít been the only club linked with him. Another left sided player, Matthew Taylor of Portsmouth, has also been linked with the club. Taylor is one man who seems very likely to leave Fratton Park over January, while Reading donít want to sell Hunt.

One name that moved to the fore as the week ended was Quinton Fortune. The South African is yet another ex-Manchester United man and he has been training with Sunderland while he rehabilitates from a shoulder injury.

The Sunderland Echo seems fairly certain that he will come on board and itís a signing in the mould that Keane has favoured. The team could deploy nearly a full side with Old Trafford connections.

Fortune could do a short term job and he may well be a reasonable alternative to Savage as a tough tackler and distributor in the centre, although he probably isnít as mobile as the Welshman.

Most of the speculation has been about defence and midfield options and it remains to be seen if the manager will turn his attention to his attacking options. Kenwyne Jones does need more support as none of his strike partners have had the same impact. Leroy Lita of Reading is a much touted name.

On the other side of things, Stan Varga left to Burnley on loan as he hasnít figured in the first team this season and midfielder Graham Kavanagh is available on a free.

Premier League Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 1 Round-up

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Tony Ratton:

A feature of todays transfer dealings seems to be that the majority of deals are leaked. I suspect this is through the agents to try and ensure their clients get a better deal. I am happy with the Jonny Evans signing and would love to see Matty Taylor and Stephen Hunts arrive @ the SOL. I would love to see another stiker on board as Kenwyyne Jones cant be expected to do it all on my own. Although I still feel that Michael Chopra could come good. Still have every faith in Keano.


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