Hovering Sunderland readying double swoop…for the wrong targets
Keeping goals out has been Sunderland’s biggest problem so far this season and, if reports concerning their last-minute transfer activity are anything to go by, they have no interest in rectifying the issue.
The Black Cats are allegedly on the verge of swooping not once, but twice to sign former Swansea midfielder Jonathan De Guzman and Rennes frontman Ola Toivonen.
Sporting Director Lee Congerton has been pleading with the former to join them, not Bournemouth, on loan, while any move for the latter will be on a permanent basis after he rejected the chance to temporarily join PAOK Salonika earlier this week.
Manager Dick Advocaat once coached Toivonen at PSV and sees the striker as a cost-effective solution to bolstering his arsenal.
Rennes paid £1.8m for the Swede 18 months ago and, at 29, he won’t command many more dead presidents.
If increasing their artillery is genuinely regarded as the key to cheating microscopically short odds of 2/5 that say the north east outfit will be relegated, then they need to look elsewhere.
His arrival would certainly boost the sex appeal of the Sunderland squad, but it’s difficult to see him outscoring seasoned Premier League practitioners and current ancillary Black Cats Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham.
In 30 appearances in Ligue 1 last term he scored just seven times, while 17 from 51 league games in his native land with Malmo at the start of his career fails to register on the impress-o-meter.
At PSV, to whom he moved from the Allsvenskan, he managed a respectable 61 in 139 outings, but the Eredivisie is no barometer for gauging potential Premier League prospering, a fact of life Sunderland learned the hard way when paying £9.5m for Jozy Altidore after he hit 39 and 67 for AZ.
With Championship sides rejecting eight-figure sums for forwards who have never graced England’s top flight, namely Benik Afobe and Jordan Rhodes, the relative pennies Toivonen will cost should act as sufficient warning that he isn’t going to be an improvement on what’s already available to Advocaat.
If the funds aren’t available to sufficiently strengthen up front, resources must be pooled to beef up elsewhere.