Five facts about new Sunderland signing El-Hadji Ba

We bring a small factfile on the latest new recruit at The Stadium of Light this summer.

Sunderland have made their seventh signing of the summer in the form of El-Hadji Ba of Le Havre for a fee to be decided by tribunal.

But what can we tell you about the 20-year-old midfielder?

1) He made his first team debut for Le Havre in February 2012; coming on with seven minutes left against Guingamp.

2) Born in Paris the 20-year-old is actually of Senegalese descent. However he has represented France at Under-18, 19 and 20 level.

Unfortunately he missed out on selection for the World Under-20 Championships, where France have made the final, to the likes of Paul Pogba, Jordan Veretout and Geoffrey Kondogbia.

3) Hadji Ba has come through the youth ranks of Le Havre; an academy with a reputation for producing talented youngsters such as Benjamin Mendy; who recently turned Sunderland down in order to sign for Marseille.

Other talented players to emerge at the club include French internationals Lassana Diarra, Vikash Dhorasoo and Steve Mandanda.

However he will try to avoid becoming a false dawn flop such as Florent Sinama-Pongolle or Anthony Le Tallec.

4) Ba’s nickname is La Manip which apparently translates as ‘The Manipulator’ … make of that what you will.

5) In 2011 it was reported that the youngster had agreed a move to Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

It was reported that he had agreed a move in principle and would undergo a medical the day after the announcement. It was even rumoured he would be going straight into the first-team at White Hart Lane.

But no deal ever materialised.

Are you excited about his arrival?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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