David Moyes’ refusal to use Wahbi Khazri last season remains one of the biggest bugbears of his disastrous season at Sunderland.
With the Black Cats toiling at the bottom of the Premier League, held back by an alarming lack of cutting edge, you’d think Moyes would be aware of the benefits of getting the best out of the most creative talent at his disposal.
Instead, the sour-faced Scot completely froze Khazri out until the final few weeks of the season. The Tunisian impressed when finally given his chance, scoring directly form a corner against West Ham, but by then it was too late to save the Black Cats from losing their ninth and final life.
“A new coach arrived (David Moyes), he didn’t trust me, I didn’t go into his plans but the fact that we finished with 20 points (*24) is on himself,” Khazri, who cost Sunderland £9 million from Bordeaux during Sam Allardyce’s reign, told L’Equipe.
“He just didn’t like my style of play, it happens. If you don’t change a team that wins, he does not change a losing team. I’m not saying that I could have changed the club on my own, but I could have helped the team.”
On current form, he has a point. Khazri scored his fifth goal in nine Ligue 1 games for Rennes in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Amiens, helping the club up to sixth in the table.
In stark contrast, Sunderland are still in the Championship’s relegation zone and, with little money to spend in January, the decision to omit and then loan Khazri out to Rennes is not one Chris Coleman will be thankful for.