Having seen his side concede 20 goals in their last nine Premier League games, Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is eagerly trying to find another defender to bring in before the transfer window closes.
Arsenal’s Mathieu Debuchy has emerged as a loan-target for the Black Cats, who sit four points from safety after 23 games.
The French full-back is no stranger to the north-east following an impressive spell with Newcastle, which subsequently saw the Gunners shell out £12m for his signature in the summer of 2014.
A combination of injuries (including ankle ligaments and a dislocated shoulder) plus the rise of Hector Bellerin has severely hampered Debuchy’s career in north London however.
The 30-year-old has made just 12 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, and the French international hasn’t hidden his desire for first-team football, be it at the Emirates or elsewhere.
Aston Villa have been strongly linked with the right-back during the transfer window, but Allardyce is hoping Debuchy’s familiarity with the north-east may swing things in his favour.
There’s little doubt the Black Cats need shoring up defensively, and Big Sam has moved this month to bring in Jan Kirchoff from Bayern Munich and Lamine Kone from Lorient in a bid to lead Sunderland to Premier League safety.
The Wearsiders currently hold the unenviable record of most goals conceded in the top-flight this season with 46 – a nasty average of two goals a game.
They’re on course to see 76 goals scored against them come the end of the season, a number which has been beaten just once in the previous three campaigns.
Fulham conceded a whopping 85 goals in the 2013-2014 and you guessed it, they were relegated.
With the transfer window slamming shut on Monday however, Allardyce is unsure if Arsene Wenger will allow Debuchy to depart, leaving Bellerin as Arsenal’s only recognised right-back.
It appears Big Sam isn’t quite happy with his lot as the crunch part of the season looms, but whether it’s Debuchy or someone else, transfer dealings at the Stadium of Light don’t look finished just yet.
With no FA Cup game to contend with this weekend, Allardyce can go full-steam ahead to bring in any more new faces, before his side host Manchester City on Monday.
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