Why Sunderland must sell Valentin Roberge in January

Sunderland Stadium of Light

Sunderland will have more chance of shifting the centre-back if a club is in need of an additional defender mid-season.

Another international break means we can pause and reflect on what has been happening at the Premier League clubs and what may happen a little further down the line – January to be precise.

It is fair to say Sunderland’s campaign has not got off to the best start and the Black Cats currently find themselves 19th in the table with just three points from their first eight matches. But whoever takes over from Dick Advocaat as manager, they will have one eye on the next transfer window, and whoever signs there are a few players they should also get rid of.

The men at the front of that particular queue is French defender Valentin Roberge, who signed for Sunderland on a free transfer in the summer of 2013.

Since then the 28-year-old has played just 13 times for Sunderland and has not featured for the first-team this season having been omitted from their Premier League squad.

Three appearances for the under-21s are all Sunderland have to show for the player’s wages since the summer and with just under a year left on his current deal the Black Cats will no doubt want to ship him out for good.

That may be easier said than done, with the Sunderland Echo reporting back in June that Roberge’s weekly wage is putting off potential suitors, but the club will surely do everything in their power to shift him at the turn of the year if they can find someone willing to take him off their hands mid-season, when clubs may be more in need of quick-fix reinforcements.

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