BBC pundit Garth Crooks says Sunderland star Lamine Kone is built in Sam Allardyce's image

Sunderland Gates

Lamine Kone is receiving plaudits after his early impact at Sunderland.

Sunderland did not find it easy to sign Lamine Kone in January, with the move taking almost all month to materialise.

Yet after arriving he has proved well worth the wait, making an instant impact for Sunderland.

The defender scored the winning goal against Manchester United at the weekend to give the Black Cats a boost in their battle for survival.

BBC pundit Garth Crooks selected Kone in his Team of the Week, and believes he is the perfect player for manager Sam Allardyce.

He said: "The acquisition of Lamine Kone is a signing in Allardyce's own image.

"Kone is a strong, no nonsense, old fashioned defender who would send a chill down any centre forward's spine and who is also proving to be a nightmare to mark in the opposition's penalty area on set-plays. He was impressive against Manchester City and even better against United."

Kone is one of a handful new signings who has breathed new life into Sunderland's survival hopes, but they still remain in a tricky position in the Premier League.

They are 19th, but just one point away from Norwich City who are in 17th place on goal difference above Newcastle.

Sunderland have a week off now as it is FA Cup weekend, potentially coming at a bad time, with their next fixture seeing Allardyce return to Allardyce's former stomping ground West Ham.

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