Sunderland boss turns to ex–Everton man in bid to stop the rot

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To stay in Premier League - Sunderland

Three points adrift of safety, having lost a staggering 68 per cent of their league matches this season, it’s safe to say Sunderland have a huge battle on their hands if they’re to maintain their Premier League status come May – but help could arrive in the form of Joleon Lescott.

And while David Moyes has himself admitted he’ll struggle to add any star names to his ranks during this transfer window, he now looks all but set to reunite with a familiar face in the north-east.

Available on a free, Lescott could be just what the Black Cats need as we head into the business end of the season.

With bags of top-flight experience under his belt, a cool head on his shoulders, and having worked with Moyes at Everton for three years, the 34-year-old would surely be welcomed with open arms at the Stadium of Light.

Especially given that they could be about to lose Patrick van Aanholt to relegation rivals Crystal Palace for an estimated fee which could rise to £12m.

And given that he wouldn’t cost Moyes anything, it’s money which could be invested elsewhere in the squad this month.

A few January additions certainly wouldn’t go amiss either, such is the state of Sunderland’s squad right now.

Moyes currently has 13 names unavailable for selection, including the likes of Papy Djilobodji, Jordan Pickford, Victor Anichebe and Duncan Watmore.

In fact, of the players currently unavailable to the Scottish boss, you could make a team which would give Saturday’s starting XI a run for their money.

Lescott would be the third former-Moyes player to join the north-east outfit this season – and the second from this list we compiled way back in September.

He’ll go a long way towards tightening up a defence which has so far conceded 42 league goals since August.

But David Moyes will have to add more than just Lescott to his ranks if he’s to keep this Sunderland side afloat in the top-flight for yet another year.

They’re currently 7/2 to do exactly that. But should Moyes manage to bring a few more faces in between now and January 31, you can expect those odds to tumble.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.